Cape Town - Another top and middle-order batting collapse saw the Coca-Cola SA U19s suffer an eight-wicket loss to neighbours, Zimbabwe in the Plate Championship semi-final at Cox’s Bazar on Monday.
Richard Ngarava and Rugare Magrira took six wickets between them to bundle the young South Africans out for just 91 runs with little more than 10 overs to spare.
Runs were hard to come by as the young Proteas suffered a collapse similar to their encounter against Namibia that had them knocked out of the tournament proper.
Ngarava opened his account by taking the big wickets of openers, Kyle Verreynne and Liam Smith for none and six respectively within the first five overs of the match.
South Africa were five wickets down for 41 runs in the 19th over after losing Wiaan Mulder (2), Dayyaan Galiem (1) and captain, Tony de Zorzi (7) for single figures. De Zorzi shared the highest partnership of the innings, 29 runs for the fifth wicket in 9.3 overs with Rivaldo Moonsamy.
Moonsamy was the only batsman to get a start, but lost his wicket for 32 from 46 balls at the start of the 26th over, leaving his side on 60/7. Luke Philander (15) and Sean Whitehead (14) hit 27 runs for the ninth wicket, but it was not destined to last.
Philander was caught and bowled by Wesley Madhevere in the 37th over and Whitehead followed five balls later to round off the disappointing South African batting effort.
In reply, Zimbabwe needed 22 overs to reach their target. Jeremy Ives and Ryan Murray shared an unbeaten 52-run partnership for the third wicket to get their side to victory after the loss of Shaun Snyder (10) to Galiem and Brendan Sly (16) to Mulder in the first 10 overs.
Coach, Lawrence Mahatlane is dismayed by the effort of the side today.
“Our batting has really let us down again,” he said. “Zimbabwe bowled really well with the new ball and they put us under pressure. Our batting application was just not good enough. We are a very proud sporting nation and know we have not only let ourselves down but a lot of people back home.
“In this tournament we’ve had our moments, the boys just haven’t put it together.”
He is remains adamant that people should not write off the players because of what has happened in this tournament.
“We’ve got a group of really talented boys,” he continued. “I don’t think that a couple of bad weeks in this tournament should taint their future in this game. They would have learned a lot from here and will understand how the game works.
South Africa will play the 10th place play-off on Thursday, the opposition will be determined by the matches taking place on Tuesday.