Wicket-keeper-batsman, Kyle Verreynne scored 77 runs from 109 deliveries to lead the South Africa under-19s to an eight-wicket win over Ireland in the Plate Championship quarter-final at Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh on Thursday. The young Proteas confined Ireland, who won the toss and elected to bat first, to 185/7 in their 50 overs with Lorcan Tucker top scoring with a laudable 77 from 98 balls. Dayyaan Galiem and Willie Ludick were the most successful with the ball, taking 2/22 and 2/43 respectively, with Wiaan Mulder and Lutho Sipamla chipping in with a wicket each at crucial times.
In reply, South Africa’s Kyle Verreynne and Liam Smith once again put on a match-winning opening partnership of 104 runs in 26.3 overs to set up their side’s victory. Smith narrowly missed out on what would have been a well-deserved half-century when he was trapped lbw by Fiacha Tucker (1/53), leaving Wiaan Mulder (43*) to execute the chase for the remaining runs with skipper, Tony De Zorzi (5*) after Verreynne lost his wicket at the end of the 42nd over. They reached their target with four overs to spare.
Coach, Lawrence Mahatlane is proud of the manner in which the side has picked itself up after its demoralising elimination from the tournament proper. Mahatlane says: 'It’s not even about the victory for me, it’s about how the team has achieved it. Six days ago we had a group of broken young men who felt that they had let, not only themselves, but their country down and the kind of character they have shown bodes well for their future. It has been tough not qualifying for the main part of the competition. The team have shown good character in how they keep improving in their disciplines. The way I see it, my main job is to develop cricketers who are skillful and who can take responsibility and think on their feet out there in the middle. We’ve seen that happen in the last couple of games. Unfortunately from a World Cup point of view, it’s disappointing that this is happening a week too late, but if they can continue in this way, we are guaranteed to have some special cricketers coming up in the pipeline.'
Verreynne, who received his second-consecutive Man of the Match award is pleased to see the team return to its winning ways, saying: 'I think winning is a habit. What we’ve done in the last couple of games is not to try and do things differently. After our win over Scotland we just looked to keep things simple and concentrate on doing the small things right and we did that really well today. From a personal point of view I just tried to keep things nice and simple and do what I did in the last game and it seems to be working. Hopefully I can carry on like that through the rest of this campaign.' South Africa will get a three-day break before their next match, the Plate Championship semi-final whose opposition will be determined by the results of tomorrow’s fixtures.