Cape Town - A five-wicket haul by Louis van Schalkwyk and a magnificent century by Jonathan Bird saw the South Africa under-19s to a commanding six-wicket victory against England in the second Youth One-Day International (ODI) at the South Northumberland Cricket Club on Thursday.
The youngsters take an unassailable lead in the three-match series, clinching it with a match to spare.
Van Schalkwyk recorded career-best figures of 5/32 during England’s innings before Bird followed up with an unbeaten 142 off 123 deliveries (24x4s, 1x6) to carry his side over the line in Newcastle.
England won the toss and elected to bat in a bid to level the series after falling to a 79-run defeat in their first encounter in Durham. It looked to be a good decision as openers Ben Charlesworth (47) and Jack Haynes (74) quickly progressed to 124 without loss, the latter bringing up a half-century after his partner fell short of his own thanks to Thando Ntini (1/52) in the 29th over.
That first wicket gave the South African bowlers the impetus they needed as the hosts soon found themselves four down. Captain Tom Banton (3) departed before Haynes was finally removed by Curtis Campher (2/47) after striking six fours and two sixes. Jack Davies’ (13) stay at the crease was also cut short as he became Campher’s second scalp.
Oliver Robinson (43) and Luke Hollman (24) attempted to get the innings back on track with their 56-run partnership for the sixth wicket. It helped England get over the 200-run mark, but their stand was eventually broken by Van Schalkwyk.
The 19-year-old from the North West then went on to pick up a further four wickets in the match, including two in three deliveries in the 46th over. The off-spinner accounted for Harrison Ward (4), Jordan Cook (0) and Hollman (24), leaving the hosts reeling on 241/8.
The last two wickets fell in the final over, with Ethan Bamber (0) run out by Achille Cloete before Van Schalkwyk sealed his five-wicket haul with that of Jack Plom (14) as England were reduced to 251.
The work was not over for the spinner as Van Schalkwyk went on to open the batting with Bird in South Africa’s reply. They shared a solid 47-run stand before the former was dismissed by Bamber (1/50) for 18 in the fifth over. Coming off the back of an impressive half-century in the first match, Bird continued his impressive form while playing an array of shots, partnering up with Thamsanqa Kumalo (22) while recording another half-ton.
Following the fall of Kumalo’s wicket was that of wicket-keeper/batsman Sinethemba Qeshile who was run out for three. Captain Wandile Makwetu joined Bird at the crease for a match-winning 129-run partnership.
When the pair had brought their side on the verge of victory when Makwetu (53 off 64 balls) lost his wicket to Harrison Ward (1/36) with just 13 runs required and nine overs in which to get them. Bird stood firm, smashing four boundaries in what proved to be the final over to help the visitors to victory with eight overs to spare.
The third and final Youth ODI will be played on Sunday, July 29 in Scarborough.