Coca-Cola South Africa under-19s assistant coach, Siya Sibiya, believes the team has taken a few positives from the series-opening defeat against Pakistan as they prepare for the second Youth One-Day International (ODI) taking place in Pietermaritzburg on Tuesday.
Despite falling 17 runs short at the Chatsworth Oval this past weekend, the hosts were on top at various stages of the game and Sibiya thinks that the team can build on that front, particularly with bat in hand – which was one of the focuses of the pre-match preparations.
“It’s a nice base for us to work from,” he said during the side’s training session on Monday. “We weren’t 44 for four, which is generally the trend with SA U19s, with guys having not played in a little while and being off the pace. So, I thought the batters were sound enough, they really worked hard towards our indexes of performance but a pity no one went on at the top, it would have been nice to see someone kick on. You must give credit to the opposition, they bowled well in the middle overs, they squeezed us and set smart fields.
“In our preparations today, we worked towards countering that and do the things that we did well, more regularly and hopefully the boys can take a lot of positives from that and look to go and execute better in the next game,” Sibiya added.
In the first game, Pakistan posted a competitive total of 226/9 in their 50 overs after half-centuries from Haider Ali (60) and Abbas Afridi (53). South Africa replied with a hard-fought 209/9, with Bryce Parsons (57* off 64 balls) recording his maiden Youth ODI fifty and Luke Beaufort contributing 46 off 87 balls. The former also picked up figures of 2/24 in his ten overs, alongside speedster, Lifa Ntanzi (2/59).
When asked about the difference in the end between the two sides, Sibiya pointed out the opposition’s skill with the ball, which restricted the home side’s scoring rate to under four runs an over for much of the innings.
“At the backend of the game, they generally got the ball to reverse a little bit in those last 10-15 overs,” he said. “They bowled skilfully, they executed their yorkers and you have to take that on the chin and accept that that was a special bowling performance from their opening bowlers. Naseem Shah bowled well, he didn’t miss his yorkers, he had a good bumper and that is potentially what the difference was.
Adding to that, Sibiya also called on his players to improve on their bowling towards the end of the innings in order to shut teams out after having the sub-continent side reeling with eight wickets down in the 34th over before a crucial 69-run stand for the ninth wicket propelled them to a defendable total.
“They were 150/8 but this is not school cricket anymore, this is international under-19s. The guy batting at number 10 is probably a number six or seven in their State team. So, we must be a little more ruthless with our death skills, look to knock those guys over and be a little more aggressive and bowl some bouncers and upset their rhythm.
“Looking forward, those are the lessons we learnt from our guys and we look to be better tomorrow at those skills,” he concluded.
The second Youth ODI takes place on Tuesday, 25 June at the City Oval from 09h00. Regular updates will be available through Cricket South Africa’s platforms on Facebook (www.facebook.com/cricketsouthafrica) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/officialcsa).
Coca-Cola South Africa U19 squad: Bryce Parsons (captain, Gauteng), Luke Beaufort (Eastern Province), Jonathan Bird (Western Province), Achille Cloete (Boland), Gerald Coetzee (Free State), Khanya Cotani (North West), Micheal Copeland (Gauteng), Andrew Louw (Free State), Akeem Minnaar (Boland), Lifa Ntanzi (KZN Coastal), Imraan Philander (Western Province), Siya Plaatjie (Western Province), Ruan Terblanche (Boland), Tiaan van Vuuren (Eastern Province), Nonelela Yikha (Border).
Tue 25: 2nd Youth ODI - South Africa vs Pakistan U19 (Pietermaritzburg)
Thu 27: 3rd Youth ODI - South Africa vs Pakistan U19 (Pietermaritzburg)
Sun 30: 4th Youth ODI - South Africa vs Pakistan U19 (Pietermaritzburg)
Tue 02: 5th Youth ODI - South Africa vs Pakistan U19 (Pietermaritzburg)
Fri 05: 6th Youth ODI - South Africa vs Pakistan U19 (Chatsworth Oval)
Sun 07: 7th Youth ODI - South Africa vs Pakistan U19 (Chatsworth Oval)
Notes: Audio from the interview with SA under-19s assistant coach Siya Sibiya will be available on the FTP site below.