Ross Roche

By Ross Roche

Senior sports writer

Maphaka bowls SA U-19s into World Cup semi-finals

Maphaka is now the outright top wicket taker at the U-19 World Cup with 18 scalps at an amazing average of 9.55.

Rising star Kwena Maphaka superbly picked up his third five wicket haul of the U-19 World Cup to lead South Africa to a 119-run win over Sri Lanka in their final World Cup Super Six match at the JB Marks Oval in Potchefstroom on Friday afternoon.

The result, coupled with the West Indies final Super Six game against Australia being washed out, secured SA’s place at second on the Super Six group two log, which sees them into the semi-finals where they will face Super Six group one winners India next week.

ALSO READ: South Africa U19s target semifinal berth in final Super Six match

In the match the hosts batted first and were on their way to a good score before a mid-innings collapse saw them stumble their way to 232/8 after 50 overs.

Sri Lanka’s innings was then torn apart by Maphaka as he bowled seven straight overs at the start of the innings, picking up the first five wickets, and then nipping out the last to finish with brilliant figures of 6/21 in 8.2 overs.

Swing bowling

His first three wickets were all lovely swinging deliveries that found the edge to keeper Lhuan-dre Pretorius, with opener Pulindi Perera and Supun Waduge falling for ducks, as well as captain Sinuth Jayawardena for six leaving them on 13/3 in the fifth over.

Dinura Kalupahana (19) and Hirun Kapurubandara (16) shared in a 36-run stand, but Maphaka had both caught out going for big shots as they slipped to 51/5.

Rilee Norton, 4/28, then took over from Maphaka and picked up the next four wickets, including Sharujan Shanmuganathan (29) and Malsha Tharupathi (21) who were the only other batters to show any fight.

In SA’s innings Pretorius, 71 off 77 balls, and Steve Stolk (22) got them off to a top start with a 63-run opening stand, but from 103/1 they crashed to 133/6 leaving them in big trouble.

Norton (41no) and Romashan Pillay (27) rescued their side with a 49-run seventh wicket partnership, while some lower order striking helped them reach what proved to be an easily defendable score.

Maphaka is now the outright top wicket taker at the U19 World Cup with 18 scalps at an amazing average of 9.55.

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