I wasn’t too disappointed - SA Under-19 coach after eighth place at Cricket World Cup
JOHANNESBURG – South Africa coach Lawrence Mahatlane said he could not fault the commitment of his troops despite their eighth place finish at the Under-19 Cricket World Cup.
The hosts lost by five wickets to Afghanistan in their seventh-place playoff in Benoni on Wednesday. South Africa made 154 all out, and Afghanistan reached their small victory target with just under 10 overs left.
“I wasn’t too disappointed, the guys tried hard without the success,” said Mahatlane.
“From a batting point of view, we let ourselves down,” the coach said. “We lost too many wickets at the top. Being three down quite quickly and Jonathan’s (Bird) injury affected the momentum at the top and after that, we got into a space where our Nos. 9 and 10 got us to a half-decent total.
“We got a run out. If you look at the catches the boys took; there were some special catches but again, it was the bit of pressure and maybe trying too hard a couple of times.”
SA Under-19 captain Bryce Parsons said: “We didn’t score enough. We gave our bowlers a tough target to defend but they gave another good display out there today and showed some character.
“We got three wickets pretty early and we thought we might be in with a sniff. The spinners bowled pretty well, especially Odirile (Modimokoane), but it just wasn’t enough,” he continued.
In the first home World Cup since hosting it in 1998, the SA Under-19s were drawn in Group D with Canada, the United Arab Emirates and 2018’s semi-finalist, Afghanistan.
Despite getting starting with an underwhelming result against the latter, the Junior Proteas then bounced back with two victories over Canada and the UAE to progress to the next round.
This is where the hosts then lost out to Bangladesh in the cup quarterfinals before losing both fifth and seventh-place playoffs against the West Indies and Afghanistan.
“It’s frustration. It is frustration in that we are more than capable of achieving more, especially given that we are at home and we backed ourselves under home conditions,” Mahatlane said in summarising the campaign.
“In terms of time spent together, this is the most time I have spent with an Under-19 team. We have been together for six weeks now but unfortunately, during the pressure moments, we didn’t handle those well.
“The boys are learning from this, if you watch the batting against spin throughout the tournament, there were some special moments, unfortunately, they weren’t consistent enough.”
African News Agency (ANA)