SA U/19 mesmerised by spin in heavy World Cup quarterfinal loss to Bangladesh

Tyrese Karelse and Luke Beaufort of South Africa during the 2020 ICC U19 Cricket World Cup Super League quarterfinal against Bangladesh at the JB Marks Stadium, Potchefstroom on January 30 2020.
Tyrese Karelse and Luke Beaufort of South Africa during the 2020 ICC U19 Cricket World Cup Super League quarterfinal against Bangladesh at the JB Marks Stadium, Potchefstroom on January 30 2020.
Image: ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

When faced with a trial by spin in a crucial game, South Africa Under-19 again failed dismally.

In the Under-19 Cricket World Cup opener, Afghanistan rolled them. Rinse and repeat in the quarterfinals against Bangladesh in Potchefstroom on Thursday and South Africa now have to be spectators at their own party.

In chasing 262, they fell woefully short by 104 runs, but coach Lawrence Mahatlane said his young charges will have taken lifelong lessons from the two big defeats.

“There's disappointment in the changing room, but we mustn’t forget that these are teens who are at the start of their careers and it's part of growth. Hopefully the lessons learnt from this tournament and past series will stand them in good stead,” Mahatlane said.

“We are disappointed that we're not in the semifinals but the highs are not too high and the lows are not too low. Those teams just never gave away soft options where maybe in other games, we had opportunities to score boundaries.

“Game plans in terms of rotating strike and transferring pressure is something we should have done and we haven't done it well against the two subcontinent teams.”

In making 261/5, Bangladesh had three top-order batsmen who made 50, taming South Africa's pace bowling threat.

There was none of that from South Africa as only Luke Beaufort crossed 50 while captain Bryce Parsons and key opener Jonathan Bird failed to deliver when it mattered.

Parsons had won the toss and gave the visitors first use of a pitch with some moisture, which eased as the sun beat down.

Like he did in the Afghanistan game where the top-order floundered, Parsons again took responsibility for the team's batting mess.

“Bangladesh batted really well, rotated the strike and they didn't give us many chances. We bowled well in that we pulled it back well in the middle after the start they had. They batted well though,” Parsons said.

“Our top four should be taking responsibility and that includes me. Luke Beaufort batted well. We can't be blaming the lower order. It's our job to score the runs and today we didn't.”

South Africa's spin issues are now endemic and not just limited to the Test and ODI teams and Parsons admitted they would have struggled even if they had batted first.

“Even if we batted first, we were missing straight balls as there weren't many balls that were turning. They were bowling wicket to wicket and we struggled to rotate the strike in the middle overs.

“We've been through must-win games and today's one was no different but a game like this happens. The Bangladeshi spinners bowled very well with very few bad balls.

"We got bogged down, so we needed to make a play at the end and we lost too many wickets.”


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