SA reach quarter-finals of ICC U19 WC

2014-02-19 00:00

THE South Africa U19s cemented their place in the quarter-final stage of the ICC U19 World Cup after beating Zimbabwe by seven wickets at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi yesterday.

Another impressive all-round effort from the side saw an unbeaten century scored by captain Aiden Markram, while the in-form Yaseen Valli added an unbeaten half-century. Justin Dill was the pick of the bowlers, taking four wickets for 35 in 10 overs to bundle out the opposition for 198.

Zimbabwe’s Luke Jongwe was their leading run scorer, posting a notable 55 off 53 balls. Kieran Geyle and Malcolm Lake added 39 and 22 respectively to be their side’s other highest run scorers. A worrying factor for South Africa would have to be the 33 runs in extras that were conceded, including 19 wides.

Kagiso Rabada once again played a good cameo role, taking two wickets including that of Jongwe, while Cobin Bosch, Jason Smith and Greg Oldfield captured a wicket each. South Africa’s reply had an early setback with the wicket of Clyde Fortuin (4) falling at the start of the fourth over. He has struggled to get a start since his 112* in the second warm-up match against India.

Markram played a captain’s innings, scoring his 120* off 119 balls, including 13 fours and a six. Valli did not disappoint either. He played a patient innings, coming to the crease after the side had lost Kirwin Christoffels (11) and Oldfield (0). His 53* off 83 balls sees him remain the leading run scorer of the tournament and the only one to have made more than 200 runs. He has only been dismissed once and thus has an average of 210.

Markram was relieved to finally get runs on the board. “I’m just relieved, I feel like it’s about time,” he said. “I’m glad to finally contribute to the team’s success in the way that I know I can. I owe this performance to the awesome support the guys have been giving me, knowing that they back me.

“I think our bowlers did really well to confine them to 198, we know that track has the potential to yield a lot more runs than it did, Justin [Dill] was just what we needed every time and KG [Rabada] gave him really good back-up and got the danger man out.

“It’s exciting to reach the quarter-finals,” he continued. “It’s been a steep learning curve and we’ve achieved every win as a team. Now it’s time to crank up our efforts at this next stage and hopefully we can get to the highly sought-after final,” Markram concluded.

South Africa will have to wait for the results of today’s matches to find out whom they will be facing in the quarter-finals.

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