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04 February 201615:37 By Manoj Narayan, Cox’s Bazar

South Africa U-19 makes short work of Ireland U-19

Bowlers restrict opponent to 185/7 before Kyle Verreynne leads 186-run chase with 109-ball 77

South Africa U-19 makes short work of Ireland U-19 - Cricket News
On Thursday (February 4), South Africa Under-19 was everything it weren’t for the most part of the group phase of the ICC Under-19 World Cup 2016. Its bowlers were penetrative, the batsmen were composed and sensible in chase of a tricky total, and the whole unit looked a well-oiled machine. As a result, it got its Plate Championship campaign off to a good start with a comprehensive eight-wicket victory over Ireland Under-19 in a quarterfinal for the ninth-place playoff at Sheik Kamal International Cricket Stadium in Cox’s Bazar.

South Africa will take solace from the fact that it finally clicked, even though a defence of the title it won in Dubai two years back is now impossible.

That said, the good show came against an Ireland side that only showed up in patches. Lorcan Tucker’s was the sole performance of note, his unbeaten 98-ball 77 – comprising seven fours and a six – taking a floundering innings to a reasonably respectable 185 for 7. Up till Lorcan’s knock, Ireland struggled for partnerships. The fact that the next highest score in the innings was the 20 his brother, Fiachra, hit was reflective of that.

However, 186 wasn’t too much of a bother for the South African batsmen, who were determined to apply themselves. They saw the chase through in 46 overs, with Kyle Verreynne scoring a 109-ball 77, Liam Smith making 49 and Wiaan Mulder remaining unbeaten on a 70-ball 43.

The day began with Ireland choosing to bat on a flat pitch with the very slightest tinge of green. There wasn’t much by way of assistance to the bowlers, though, but the South African pacemen – Mulder and Dayyaan Galiem – were disciplined. But Jack Tector, the Ireland captain and opener, helped keep the runs flowing, putting away the singles and doubles, but his partner, Andrew Austin, had a tough time picking the lengths.

And so, it wasn’t long before the breakthrough arrived, with Mulder drawing an edge off Austin that was caught behind. As is sometimes the case, one wicket led to another. In the next over, Tector, who scored 18, was deceived by a Galiem slower ball, and popped it straight to mid-on. Four over later, Galiem was at it again, sending in a quicker delivery that had Gary McClintock trapped in front of leg stump. Ireland was reduced to 36 for 3.

That brought Lorcan into the middle, but he struggled to find a stable partner as both Adam Dennison and William McClintock fell in fairly quick succession and Ireland was 71 for 5.

Lorcan, who had cracked a couple of fours through the leg-side by then, finally found some support when Aaron Gillespie came in. He pulled a massive six off Lutho Sipamla over midwicket, and it seemed a statement of purpose. It perhaps buoyed Gillespie at the other end, who, when given space, cracked one through the covers. The two added 39 runs for the sixth wicket, rotating strike and keeping South Africa from running through in a period of defiance.

Lorcan was particularly effective on the on side. The pull, which he unleashed whenever he could, fetched him a few boundaries through long-on, and there were sweeps, which helped him find the backward square-leg ropes every now and again.

The two ploughed along smoothly for a while, but the composure they had displayed suddenly deserted them when they attempted a quick single – Gillespie was run out for a 41-ball 12. The arrival of Fiachra quickened the run rate, especially in the death overs. The two continued rotating strike and Lorcan soon reached a half-century with a prod to midwicket. Fiachra fell late on, but Lorcan found the boundaries when he could to boost the total.

South Africa looked determined to make the best of whatever’s left of its World Cup. It wasn’t about to do anything rash. The openers batted sensibly, knowing they had more than enough time to complete the chase, and given that Ireland’s bowlers struggled for incisiveness, it resulted in the match’s slowest phase.

Smith and Verreynne presented the dead bat to most deliveries, and most of the runs they notched up came via singles. That said, when given the chance, they were both happy to play their shots. Every now and then, there was a boundary to keep the Ireland fielders on their toes – Verreynne was particularly good through the off side, even as Smith took a particular liking to Gillespie, who he hammered for consecutive boundaries – a four and a six.

Verreynne reached his half-century, but Smith was left stranded one run short when he was trapped in front by Fiachra. It meant their 104-run opening stand was broken, but Mulder walked in and carried on in much the same manner, putting away the singles and doubles to keep the scoreboard ticking along.
Verreynne fell late in the chase to Adam Dennison, and would be disappointed not to see it through, but South Africa crossed the mark with little fuss thereafter.

Please click here to review the match in full in the ICC Match Centre.