Ross Roche

By Ross Roche

Senior sports writer

SA U19s floored by Indian comeback to be knocked out of World Cup

The hosts batted first and set the visitors 245 to win, but a brilliant start from the South African bowlers reduced India to 32/4 early on.

The South African U19s were floored by a stunning comeback from India as they fell to a disappointing two wicket defeat in their U19 World Cup semifinal at Willowmoore Park in Benoni on Tuesday.

The hosts batted first and set the visitors 245 to win, but a brilliant start from the South African bowlers reduced India to 32/4 early in their chase.

ALSO READ: Kwena Maphaka’s record breaking U19 stint raises the bar – Is he the next Rabada?

However Sachin Dhas, 96 off 95 balls (11×4, 1×6) and captain Uday Saharan, 81 off 124 balls (6×4) combined for a match winning 171-run fifth wicket stand to turn the match on its head, and despite a late fightback, SA fell just short.

Vicious delivery

The first ball India’s chase saw the competitions top wicket taker Kwena Maphaka have opener Ardash Singh out for a golden duck, with a vicious rising delivery catching the shoulder of the bat and flying to keeper Lhuan-dre Pretorius.

Tristan Luus then took charge and had Arshin Kulkarni (12) and Musheer Khan (4) caught by captain Juan James in the slips, and also removed Priyanshu Moliya (5) caught by the keeper leaving India in major trouble.

However Dhas and Saharan combined for their match winning stand, before Maphaka returned late in the piece to pick up two more wickets, including Dhas just short of a century, but it was too little too late as India snuck home.

The SA innings of 244/7 was built around half centuries from Pretorius and Richard Seletswane, who set the platform for James and Luus to strike some lusty blows at the end to get them to a decent score.

Pretorius struck 76 off 102 balls (6×4, 3×6) and Seletswane hit 64 off 100 (4×4, 2×6), as they shared in an important 72-run third wicket partnership, while James cracked 24 off 19 (1×4, 1×6) and Luus hammered an unbeaten 23 off 12, with one four and two sixes.

Tough start

The SA innings got off to a tough start as Raj Limbani had Steve Stolk caught behind chasing a wide ball, and had David Teeger bowled for a second ball duck by a wicked swinging delivery to reduce them to 47/2.

Pretorius and Seletswane initially got off to a good start, but were then stunted by the spinners as they only scored 30 runs between the 20th and 31st overs, while Pretorius was caught off Musheer Khan trying to pull, leaving them on 120/3.

Seletswane managed to up his scoring rate and stuck around as a few wickets fell around him, while he also shared in a sixth wicket stand of 40 off 25 balls with James, before both fell in quick succession with the score 220/7, only for Luus to crack some lusty late blows.

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