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Big-hitting South Africa defeats Ireland in the Under-19s World Cup

Philippe le Roux of Ireland plays a shot as GJ Maree of South Africa keeps during the ICC U19 Men's Cricket World Cup match between South Africa and I
Philippe le Roux of Ireland plays a shot as GJ Maree of South Africa keeps during the ICC U19 Men's Cricket World Cup match between South Africa and Ireland
©ICC/ International Cricket Council
 

A powerful batting display by South Africa dominated a young Ireland Under-19s Men’s team by 153 runs (DLS) in the Group Stages of the ICC Under-19s Men’s Cricket World Cup today.

With confidence in their batting unit, the South Africans won the toss and elected to bat first. However, it was Ireland who had the better of the early exchanges predominantly through the bowling of 15-year old Reuben Wilson. The YMCA pace bowler removed opener Valintine Kitime for 0 in the first over, and bowled with a nagging line and length that troubled the South African top-order.

South Africa soon found themselves at 16-2 in the 4th over after Liam Doherty chimed in dismissing Ethan-John Cunningham (11), but the in-form Dewald Brevis decided that attack was the best form of defence. The South African batter, who had scored 64 and 104 in his last two Group Stage matches, shared a 47-run third-wicket stand with Gerhardus Maree (14) – who was bowled by a beautiful in-swinger from Wilson – and then combined for a 118-run stand with his captain George van Heerden.

Brevis hit 7 fours and 4 sixes in his innings, falling four runs short of his century, caught seeking to bring up his second ton on the trot.

van Heerden wasn’t deterred by the loss of Brevis – he continued to attack the bowling, smashing 8 maximums in his spectacular 111 off 93 balls. He found support from Andile Simelane (25 off 12 balls) and Mickey Copeland (43 off 18 balls), as the South African total passed the 300-mark, finishing on 315-7 from 47 overs (with three overs lost to rain delays).

Facing an adjusted target of 312, Ireland lost Liam Doherty first ball – nicking off to an seaming delivery on a good length, followed soon after by Josh Cox (0) and Tim Tector (1).

Rush’s Nathan McGuire – elevated to open in this match - was determined to counter-attack as his partners succumbed to the aggressive South African bowling. He played a range of powerful cuts and drives as he quickly raced to 42 at better than run-a-ball. Looking near-faultless in his shot selection, McGuire finally flashed at a wide ball and was caught at first slip.

Philippe le Roux played stylishly for his 33, and Matthew Humphreys adventurously struck 38 late on, but Ireland were eventually bowled for 158.

Ireland’s next match will likely be against Canada (still to be officially confirmed) at the same venue next Tuesday in the Plate Quarter-Final.

 

After the match, Tim Tector said:

“It’s not ideal to finish our Group Stage like this, but I think that we can take a lot away from the way South Africa went about their business with the bat, they didn’t give us many chances. Reuben [Wilson] started out really well with the ball today. He is so young, and this experience will be so good for him. So there’s few things we can take from the game, but overall we’re disappointed.”

 

MATCH SUMMARY  

   

Ireland Under-19s Men v South Africa Under-19s Men, U19 World Cup Group Stage, Trinidad, 21 January 2022  

South Africa 315-7 (47 overs: G van Heerden 111, D Brevis 96; R Wilson 2-59)

Ireland 158 (32.5 overs: N McGuire 42, M Humphreys 38, P le Roux 33; L Alder 3-20, M Boast 3-26)  

South Africa Under-19s won by 153 runs (DLS)

See full scorecard