JOHANNESBURG – South Africa are looking to put their disappointment of being knocked out of the Under-19 World Cup by Pakistan on Wednesday, with two more matches in the Plate Championship section of the tournament remaining.
The youngsters will now face New Zealand, who suffered a 202-run defeat at the hands of Afghanistan in the Plate semi-final on Saturday in Christchurch.
Head coach, Lawrence Mahatlane was disappointed with the team’s performance in the quarter-final, but wants his charges to start plotting the way forward and learn their lessons faster.
“There’s still a lot of cricket to be played and from the guys’ point of view, it’s important that they keep taking the lessons learned and keep going forward,” he said.
“The key is, we need to finish strong. We need to be masters of our own destiny in terms of which group the next generation is going to play in (in the next World Cup). Our goal now is to go finish fifth, we have two very important games coming up and it will be opportunities for guys to put their hands up and leave the jersey in a better place.”
South Africa were restricted to 189/9 after being put in to bat first by Pakistan. The opposition reached their target with 12 balls to spare thanks to an unbeaten 74 runs by Ali Zaryab. Reflecting on the lost quarter-final match against a rampant Pakistan seam attack, Mahatlane commented:
“We looked at the wicket and we knew that the average score on this wicket is 209 over the last short while, even though there have been some big scores in between. I just thought we just didn’t apply ourselves well enough with the bat, we knew we had to neutralise their quickies and unfortunately we allowed their three seamers to pick up six wickets which didn’t allow our specialist batters to bat at the business end of the innings. We ended up, I’d say 30 runs too short.”
The SA team’s Plate semi-final against New Zealand is at Hagley Oval in Christchurch on Saturday. If they win, they will play the winners of the second Plate semi-final for fifth and sixth position in Queenstown on January 31. Should they lose, they will play the loser of the second Plate semi-final for seventh and eighth place in Queenstown on January 30.
African News Agency (ANA)