South Africa beat WI U-19s in see-saw battle
Mon, Feb 18, '08
South Africa set up what could be a Group B deciding showdown with India tomorrow as the junior Proteas beat an in-form West Indies side by three wickets in a see-saw game at Kinrara Oval.
With India having beaten Papua New Guinea in the opening fixture of the ICC U/19 Cricket World Cup both teams are now on one win from one and so whichever side wins tomorrow is assured of progressing through to the Super League stage of the game.
Rilee Rossouw was the saviour of South Africa as he anchored the run-chase and saw the side home with an unbeaten knock of 58. Rossouw’s family had come out all the way from Bloemfontein to support him and his mother was on hand at the end to give him a well-deserved hug for his man-of-the-match efforts.
Having been set a modest target of 223 to win, the chase began disastrously for South Africa as it lost Pieter Malan lbw to Jason Dawes before a run had been scored. It was perhaps no more than the West Indies’ bowlers expected having made the batting lineups of Australia and Sri Lanka look ordinary in the warm-up matches last week.
But then Jon-Jon Smuts and Reeza Hendricks added 74 for the second wicket and coach Ray Jennings could breathe easy again.
But not for long as Smuts (45) and Hendricks (36) gave their wickets away just when they looked set to close out the game. And although Johanthan Vandiar (34) and Mohammad Vallie (15) looked good at the wicket, the wickets kept falling as West Indies’ leg-spinning captain Shamarh Brooks ripped through the middle order.
And with SA teetering on 179-7, still 44 short of victory, momentum swung back the way of the West Indians. But all through this period of uncertainty, Rossouw was calm and confident, employing the sweep shot to great effect as he knocked off the runs. At the other end, number nine batsman Roy Adams proved to be a solid partner and it is difficult to overstate the importance of his contribution, which was worth 26 crucial runs.
Earlier, captain Wayne Parnell (3-37) and Jacobus Pienaar (3-36) bowled well to restrict the West Indies to 222-8. The hard-hitting opener Kieran Powell (53) and later Devon Thomas (53) were the chief run-getters for the West Indies but they will rue a fruitless period in the middle overs when South Africa’s medium-pacers stifled their attempts to compile a big total.
Effectively, the West Indies must now win its remaining two games in the group if it is to progress to the Super League. But in such adversity comes a certain clarity of thought so don’t rule out Larry Gomes’ team just yet.
West Indies 228-8, 50 overs (Kieran Powell 53, Devon Thomas 53, Shacaya Thomas 41; Jacobus Pienaar 3-36, Wayne Parnell 3-37)
South Africa 223-7, 43.5 overs (Rilee Rossouw 58 not out, JJ Smuts 45, Reeza Hendricks 36; Shamarh Brooks 4-39, Veerasammy Permaul 2-35).