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SA U19S VICTORIOUS OVER WEST INDIES IN SERIES-OPENER

South Africa under-19s overcame various challenges to secure a dramatic 18-run win over hosts the West Indies in their first Youth One-Day International in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines on Sunday.

Following a delayed start to the game at the Cumberland Playing Field and losing the toss and being asked to bat first in unfavourable batting conditions, the SA U19s were bowled out for 146 after 34.2 overs before a remarkable fight back from captain George van Heerden’s team led to the home side being skittled for 128.

The triumph gives South Africa a one-nil lead in the three-match series as the youngsters ramp up preparations for the 2022 ICC Men’s U19 Cricket World Cup in the West Indies.

Despite a positive start at the crease thanks to a 56-run opening stand from Jade Smith (34) and Ethan Cunningham (30), the SA U19s soon found themselves in trouble on 101 / 5, with West Indian fast bowler, Anderson Mahase (4 / 33) wreaking havoc with four top-order wickets.

South Africa were eventually dismissed before reaching the 150-run mark, with spinner Onaje Amory picking up three wickets of his own to put the host nation in a commanding position at the halfway mark of the 50-over clash.

Faced with an uphill battle, the SA U19s made a bright start with ball in hand, picking up two early wickets through Liam Alder (1 / 40) and Kwena Maphaka (1 / 13) to leave their opponents on 20 / 2 after 7.4 overs.

The momentum shifted once again, this time in the favour of the home team, as two half-century partnerships starring skipper Ackeem Auguste (27) and top-scorer Giovante Depeiza (39) guided the West Indies to 121 / 4, needing 26 runs to win with more than 28 overs in hand.

With the SA U19s staring down the barrel, a combination of fielding brilliance and wickets from Dewald Brevis (3 / 36) and Andile Simelane (2 / 5) helped the visitors take an incredible six wickets for just seven runs as the islanders collapsed to 128 all out within 34.3 overs, falling 19 runs short of the target.

After the game, SA U19s head coach, Shukri Conrad said:

“In true South African spirit, there was nothing fancy to this win. It was just a dog fight, and I am helluva proud of the boys.

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“It has been a tough week for us, traveling around the world, being given all the protocols etc. It’s a fantastic win for the boys and hopefully, this not only sets up the tour well but for the next month and a bit we are in the Caribbean,” Conrad added.

The second match gets underway on Tuesday, 28 December from 09H00 local time (15H00 SA time).

The SA U19 Bilateral Tour of the West Indies schedule:

Tuesday, 28 December 2021 2nd YODI Arnos Vale St. Vincent

Thursday, 30 December 2021 3rd YODI Arnos Vale St. Vincent

Monday, 03 January 2022 4th YODI Arnos Vale St. Vincent

South Africa Under-19 Squad:

George van Heerden (Captain) (Warriors), Liam Alder (Lions), Matthew Boast (KZN Inland), Dewald Brevis (Titans), Michael Copeland (Boland), Ethan Cunningham (Western Province), Valentine Kitime (Titans), Kwena Maphaka (Lions), Gerhard Maree (Free State), Aphiwe Mnyanda (Warriors), Andile Simelane (KwaZulu-Natal Inland), Jade Smith (Warriors), Kaden Solomons (Western Province), Joshua Stephenson (Warriors), Asakhe Tshaka (Western Province)

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