Jonathan Bird scored a dominant hundred for the Coca-Cola South Africa under-19s in their 116-run loss in the fifth Youth One-Day International (ODI) against Pakistan in Pietermaritzburg on Tuesday.
The touring side takes a five-nil lead in the seven-match series.
Pakistan posted 300/8 in their allotted overs following a timely century from Irfan Niazi (122 off 125 balls; 15 fours) before Jonathan Bird smashed a quicker than a run-a-ball ton (100 off 95 balls) in a lone effort as the hosts were bowled out for 184.
After losing the toss and being asked to bowl, the SA under-19s made a good start with the ball, picking up three wickets thanks to Siya Plaatjie (2/39) and Achille Cloete (1/66) to leave Pakistan 66/3 in the 11th over. Rohail Nazir and Niazi then teamed up for a 52-run stand for the fourth wicket to get their innings back on track, with Nazir bringing up his third fifty of the series, recording 52 off 56 balls (7 fours, 1 six).
Not looking to slow down the scoring rate, the eventual Man of the Match, Niazi, found willing partners in Haris Khan (22) and Fahad Munir (25) as the tall middle-order batsman notched up his maiden Youth ODI ton to take his side to a competitive total.
In South Africa’s reply, the youngsters lost wickets at regular intervals aside from two partnerships of 40 runs or more between Bird and debutant Heinrich Pieterse (21) and Cloete (9). The imposing presence of Bird kept the home side’s chances alive as he raised his bat for his half-century before going on the attack, hitting 11 fours and three sixes on his way to his second Youth ODI century.
Despite the valiant knock from the left-hander, the SA under-19s were bowled out with 11.2 overs to spare, with Pakistan’s Naseem Shah (3/21) spearheading the attack.
After two matches in three days, the two sides will take the field again on Friday, 05 July for the sixth Youth ODI at the Chatsworth Oval in Durban. 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), Heinrich Pieterse (Gauteng), Levert Manje (Gauteng), Lifa Ntanzi (KZN Coastal), Imraan Philander (Western Province), Siya Plaatjie (Western Province), Ruan Terblanche (Boland), Nonelela Yikha (Border).
Fri 05: 6th Youth ODI - South Africa vs Pakistan U19 (Chatsworth Oval)
Sun 07: 7th Youth ODI - South Africa vs Pakistan U19 (Chatsworth Oval)