SA U19s knock Canada out to record first win of Cricket World Cup

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Bryce Parsons. Picture: Louis Botha/Gallo Images
Bryce Parsons. Picture: Louis Botha/Gallo Images

South Africa finally got off the mark in their second ICC under-19 Cricket World match on Wednesday in Potchefstroom, North West, with captain Bryce Parsons leading from the front as the team posted the tournament’s highest score yet – 346.

South Africa beat Canada by 150 runs at JB Marks Oval with an impressive all-round display.

Parsons raced to his century in 80 balls before being dismissed for 121 (91) by Rishiv Joshi as he holed out to mid-on trying to attack, walking even before the ball was caught.

Parsons now also holds the tournament’s highest individual score.

In the bowling department the Juniour Proteas got off to a decent start, taking two wickets in the power play but conceding 50 runs in the first six overs with Mihir Patel swatting them around for five fours in his innings of 26.

But then came Merrick Brett into the attack and dispatched Patel and Akhil Kumar to stand on figures of 2/2 after three overs.

Making the Canadian batsman hang biltong, Brett kept the batsman on their toes forcing them to play with the straight bat as the ball either hit the edge or just missed the edge of the bat.

But it was South Africa’s batting that was the highlight of the day as they played aggressively throughout their innings, a complete turnaround from the disappointing opening loss against Afghanistan.

READ: Young Proteas wane, but all is not yet lost

“It feels good to get on the board in the tournament. We had a really tough start against Afghanistan. We were really good with the bat, and with the ball we struggled a bit but brought it back nicely,” Parsons said after receiving his man of the match award.

After Andrew Louw was dismissed within the first 10 overs, Parsons and Jonathan Bird – who brought up his 50 with a six in 44 balls – put on 64 runs for the second wicket partnership.

The partnerships continued with the third wicket stand of 93 between Parsons and Luke Beaufort and another 50 runs between Parsons and Tyrese Karelse for the fourth wicket, before Karelse and Tiaan van Vuuren put on 57 runs for the fifth.

Karelse finished on 60 from 51 balls in his debut match of the tournament.

“Everyone scored really well today as we had about four 50-run partnerships. Partnerships were key today and we are just really excited that the bowling unit clicked,” he said.

Canada, for their part, looked lacklustre in their bowling effort and could not stem the flow of runs as they conceded boundaries at regular intervals to let the pressure slip.

The best bowler for the North Americans was Kumar who took 3 for 56 in his 10 overs, two of those wickets were towards the back-end of the innings as South Africa looked to attack every ball.

All besides one bowler finished on figures above 50 runs in the heat of Potchefstroom.

“I think our bowlers were not hitting their lengths today but towards the end we just lost it and we couldn’t bounce back from that,” Canada’s under-19 captain Ashtan Deosammy said.

In terms of their batting, Deosammy said they generally play aggressively anyway but that it just didn’t come off on the day.

“From one to 11 we are all aggressive batsman and that’s how we play in Canada, so that’s how we bat here. I think that’s a great way to bat but it didn’t come off today,” he said.

South Africa lacked some discipline in their bowling and fielding as they conceded 22 extras compared to Canada’s 11, and kept misfielding especially on the boundary line.

Parsons, however, was not too troubled about the wides but conceded to the “sloppy” fielding.

“We don’t mind wides for height because we thrive upon bowling a lot of bumpers, but there were a few sloppy overthrows as well, so that’s something to work on,” Parsons said.

His own bowling was also good as he ended with figures of one for 36 runs, bowling all 10 overs consecutively.

Looking forward to Saturday, the under-19s last pool game against the United Arab Emirates in Bloemfontein, Parsons reiterated that it was a semi-final of sorts but that they were looking forward to it.

South Africa must to win to qualify for the superleague or risk being on equal points with the UAE, which would mean the team with the better run-rate goes through.

Canada face group leaders Afghanistan on Friday in Potchefstroom before heading into the plate playoff.

“I know a lot of people will think that we have low confidence going into the next game but that’s not the case with us, but that doesn’t mean we can’t finish strong.”

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