COCA-COLA South Africa took a winning 3-0 lead in their five-match under-19 Youth ODI series against England when they won the third match by 10 runs at Boland Park on Saturday.
The match was very similar to the second one on Friday with England leaving themselves with too much to do in the closing overs and South Africa having their total set up by one big innings in the middle order from Man-of-the-Match Greg Oldfield supported by some good hitting at the death.
The South Africans managed to score 100 runs in their last 10 overs for the loss of only three wickets which was an outstanding effort by any international standard.
They will also be highly encouraged by the fact that they put their youngest side in the field for some time with seven of the players available to play in next year’s ICC under-19 World Cup in Dubai.
England have also fielded a youthful squad for the most part and both sides look well advanced in their preparation for next year’s tournament.
This match followed exactly the same trend as the second one the day before with England winning the toss and deciding to field first in stifling conditions.
The move looked as though it might be paying off when the first three South African wickets fell for only 48 runs before David Bedingham and Greg Oldfield stabilised the innings with a fourth wicket partnership of 58 in 14 overs.
England still looked in a strong position when they had half the South African team out for 134 in the 33rd over but the lower and middle-order, packed with all-rounders, rallied strongly and more than doubled the total to finish with a highly competitive 270.
Greg Oldfield (82 off 111 balls, 8 fours) and Jason Smith (49 not out off 48 balls, 1 four and 2 sixes) took the lead role as they had done the previous day. Oldfield was dropped twice in the second half of his innings but these lapses only cost England a handful of runs just when he looked set for a well-deserved century.
Smith was assisted by some spectacular hitters. Corbin Bosch hit 23 off just 8 balls (5 fours) before being run out when he slipped in turning to regain his ground. Sine Ntshona and Tshepo Moreki also joined in the boundary hitting and South Africa scored 100 in the last 10 overs for the loss of only three wickets.
Ngazibini Sigwili kept up the pressure when England batted, taking 2/14 in his opening spell of 5 overs. Corbin Bosch added the wicket of Ed Barnard to have England in much the same position as South Africa had been – 37/3 after 12 overs.
Ben Duckett, who has been impressive in the middle order, followed soon afterwards when he attempted a reverse sweep in off-spinner Ntshona’s first over and gave a straight forward catch to Murray Coetzee.
At 51/4 and with a required rate of just over a run a ball England had a lot to do in the remaining 34 overs.
England finally got a partnership going when Jonathan Tattersall and Ryan Gibson came together at the fall of the fifth wicket. They added 49 off 59 balls before Gibson miscued a cut and was caught at backward point, leaving England 130/6 and needing a further 141 at more than eight to the over.
Tattersall was largely left to play a lone hand, reaching his half-century off 54 balls with 2 fours. Tattersall shared a 50-run partnership with Joshua Shaw and hit a defiant six before perishing for 83 off 76 balls (5 fours and a six).
England continued to fight to the death with Shaw also reaching a half-century to go with his three wickets but, as in the second match, they had left themselves with too much to do at the end and fell 10 runs short of the South African total with their last pair at the crease.