A five-wicket victory over the Australia under-19s (U19s) at the Dr Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Stadium, in Visakhapatnam, India, on Sunday virtually guaranteed the Coca-Cola South Africa U19s the second spot and a place in the final of the youth quadrangular series. South Africa still have two matches to play in the second round of the tournament.
Australia were restricted to 134 thanks to a brilliant bowling effort by the team, led by captain, Yaseen Valli, who took a five-wicket haul. He claimed five wickets for 27 runs in 8.4 overs, including two maidens. He is delighted to be back in the side after being rested in the match against Zimbabwe and is happy to be making a positive contribution.
“I think we started off well, we gained momentum quickly and carried it through to the end. It’s always nice to beat Australia twice in a row and I’m really happy to have made a good contribution to the side,” he said. “Sometimes it’s good to get a wake-up call, it’s important to stay mentally strong, especially in foreign conditions and to have a good mental balance.”
Kagiso Rabada took two wickets for 16 in six overs while Justin Dill, Sinebhongo Ntshona and Bradley Dial chipped in with a wicket each to skittle out an under-cooked looking Australian side.
In their batting reply, South Africa chased down the target with 96 balls to spare. Clyde Fortuin (38) shared a 45-run opening stand with Hayes van der Berg (14) before the latter was caught behind off Cameron Valente. Jason Smith saw a return to form, adding an unbeaten 41 to lead his side to the win after Lloyd Brown, Gregory Oldfield and Dial (with whom he shared a 40-run, fifth wicket partnership) lost their wickets for 12, one and 10 respectively.
“It feels great to finally make a contribution for the team, I was feeling under pressure from not achieving my goals, there’s a high expectation for me to be one of the leaders with the bat so it felt really good to finally get some runs,” Smith commented.
South Africa will get the opportunity to level the score against India when the sides meet in their Round Two match on Tuesday, 1 October. Smith is looking forward to the match and believes that the mental battle his side has struggled with on the tour so far is over.
“In the next match, when the game gets tough, we need to go just as hard at them (India) as they do at us. That mental toughness will be key for a win in the next match,” he concluded.
South Africa will play India and Zimbabwe (3 October 2013) again before the final on Saturday.