’AB 2.0’ Dewald Brevis stars for SA under-19 despite T20 KO loss to Eastern Storm
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Johannesburg – Dewald Brevis lived up to the billing, producing a stunning innings that drew excitement and obvious comparisons with a former great who donned the Proteas shirt very recently.
The 18 year old Brevis, who also attended Afrikaans Hoër Seuns Skool in Tshwane, delivered the ‘AB 2.0’ show that has excited many who have watched him on grainy streaming videos or seen him in the flesh.
There was a crisply timed square drive, a delicious loved drive for six over extra cover, and slog sweep that crashed into the president’s suite at the Mangaung Oval that ended with Brevis on one knee and his bat horizontal with the ground. If you’d super-imposed an image of the other guy who once wore no.17 on his shirt over that image, you wouldn’t have been able to tell them apart.
It was a delightful innings, that understandably set social media a flutter. The pity was that it lasted just 25 balls, and that he only scored 46, but the two fours and four sixes illustrated a batter that should entertain for years to come and hopefully in the immediate future, light up the Under-19 World Cup in Caribbean next year.
Besides Brevis, there were moments of brilliance with the bat from the likes of Jade Smith (16 off 11 balls), Andile Simelane (22 off 20), skipper George van Heerden (34 off 26) and Kaden Solomons (30* off 16 balls), that backed up the side’s coach Shukri Conrad’s assertion that no one could say there weren’t talented young players in the country.
What that talent needs is match time and refinement, which is why they’ve been included in the T20 Knock Out competition. Their immaturity could be seen in the field – more the physical than mental – as the Eastern Storm’s veteran batter Grant Thomson and right hand opener, Danie Rossouw, controlled the run rate in a 94-run stand for the second wicket.
Rossouw, was the top scorer, making 66 not out off 48 balls, hitting seven fours, while Thomson’s innings of 42 included four boundaries and a six. There was a brutal innings from Jurie Snyman, who made an unbeaten 49, that came off only 22 balls, during which he hit three fours and four sixes.
What the Under-19 were missing with the ball was an effective seamer. Besides Joshua Stephenson and Simelane – who both bowl right hand medium pace – the rest of the attack on Friday was made up of spinners, and there was a sameness to it.
Nevertheless, as much as Conrad doesn’t want that his team is viewed as just making up the tournament’s numbers, the players are there to learn. The running between the wickets wasn’t the best and the fielding certainly needs improving, while Van Heerden needs to get the balance between aggression and defence right in the field.
There was a lot more to like about the SA under-19s however, and Cricket SA deserves credit for getting them involved in the competition.
SA Under-19 172/8 (Dewald Brevis 46, George Van Heerden 34, Tumelo Tlhokwe 3/18, Khwezi Gumede 3/19)
Eastern Storm 175/2 (Danie Rossouw 66*, Jurie Snyman 49*, Asakhe Tsaka 1/22, Liam Alder 1/41)
The Storm won by eight wickets