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03 February 201617:22 By Manoj Narayan, Cox's Bazar

​ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup Day 9 Preview

Full preview of all matches at U19 CWC Day 9 as South Africa U19 faces Ireland U19 and New Zealand U19 takes on Scotland U19 in the ninth-place playoff quarter-finals

​ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup Day 9 Preview - Cricket News

From being highly touted to retain the trophy to contesting for the ninth position, South Africa's fall has been depressing.

South Africa U19 v Ireland U19
Sheik Kamal International Cricket Stadium, Cox’s Bazar

While the eyes of most at the ICC Under-19 World Cup 2016 are now focussed on Mirpur and Fatullah, there is a phase of the tournament being played out in Cox’s Bazar – the Plate Championship. It comprises those vanquished and defeated in the group phase of the tournament, a list headed by South Africa Under-19, the defending champion.

It must be hard to stomach for South Africa. It headed into the World Cup with none of the members of the squad that won the title in Dubai in 2014. Despite that, its performances, and the contrast in expectation and achievement, will rankle. From being highly touted to retain the trophy to contesting for the ninth position – the highest position it can now play for – the fall has been depressing.

The first step in its attempt to finish ninth will be against Ireland Under-19 on Thursday (February 4), at Sheik Kamal International Cricket Stadium.

It is a different sort of challenge that South Africa faces now, playing in what is a lesser competition even as some of its traditional competitors fight for the big prize. However, it can also fight to arrest the slide, play for pride and finish in the highest position it can.

To that end, its final group game – against Scotland Under-19 – would have served as a timely reminder of their qualities. The bowlers pitched in together – Dayyan Galiem, Wiaan Mulder, Sean Whitehead and Tony de Zorzi bagged two wickets each – to bundle out Scotland for 127 before Liam Smith and Kyle Verreynne scored half-centuries to seal a ten-wicket win.

De Zorzi, the captain, said victory was important just so that the team could put behind the disappointment of not progressing to the quarterfinals. “It was good for us to bounce back,” he said. “It was important that the boys put it behind them and we still have a job to do with the rest of the games coming up for us.

“The guys have shown immense character and responsibility, knowing that we still have a lot of people to play for back home. And it is important to understand that though it is not what we wanted, at the end of the day we still wear that badge every time we step on the field, and we should represent it with some pride and honour.”

Ireland, meanwhile, poses a stern test. Given that it was a last-minute addition to the tournament, called up after Australia withdrew citing security concerns, and was well short of match readiness, its displays have been encouraging. In the opener, against India, it did cause the highly favoured side some problems, reducing it to 55 for 4, before allowing for a recovery. It also had positives to take from against New Zealand in the final group match.

The captain, Jack Tector, said Ireland was aiming high. “Yeah, hopefully we can go all the way,” he said. “We’re disappointed not to be able to do better in the group stages, but we had a lot of positives to take from those matches. We didn’t have much time to prepare coming into the tournament, and our middle order needs some work. But we’ve worked on that, so we should be good.”

Ireland has a job to do against South Africa, which, as de Zorzi insisted, is determined to leave Bangladesh with a trophy, one or the other.

Teams (from)
South Africa U19:
Tony de Zorzi (capt), Ziyaad Abrahams, Dean Foxcroft, Dayyaan Galiem, Willie Ludick, Wandile Makwethu, Conner McKerr, Rivaldo Moonsamy, Wiaan Mulder, Luke Philander, Farhaan Sayanvala, Lutho Sipamla, Liam Smith, Kyle Verreynne, Sean Whitehead.

Ireland U19: Jack Tector (capt), Rory Anders, Andrew Austin, Varun Chopra, Adam Dennison, Stephen Doheny, Aaron Gillespie, Josh Little, Gary McClintock, William McClintock, Tom Stanton, Harry Tector, Fiachra Tucker, Lorcan Tucker, Ben White.

New Zealand U19 v Scotland U19
Sheik Kamal International Cricket Stadium Academy Ground, Cox’s Bazar

New Zealand Under-19 isn’t exactly in the same boat as South Africa, but the motivations are similar. For the bigger sides in the Plate Championship, it is all about playing for pride. To come good on its hopes, however, New Zealand has to improve their batting.

It has been bowled out twice so far – against Nepal for 206 while chasing 239, and against India for a paltry 138 in a chase of 259. Even against Ireland in its final group game, it lost six wickets chasing 213. The captain, Josh Finnie, admitted it was something the team was working on. “We’ve been working a bit on the techniques around our batting,” he said. “We’re sort of playing straight against pace when it’s doing a wee bit. And we’re working on spin as well.”

Finnie said New Zealand has to “go out there and prove that we’re a better side”, against a team that was outplayed in both departments in all its three group games. And, unless Scotland improves drastically, New Zealand is likely to prove a hard test to start its Plate Championship campaign with.

Teams (from)
New Zealand U19:
Josh Finnie (capt), Finnley Allen, Josh Clarkson, Zak Gibson, Christian Leopard, Felix Murray, Aniket Parikh, Dale Phillips, Glenn Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, Talor Scott, Ben Sears, Nathan Smith, Daniel Stanley, Ross ter Braak.

Scotland U19: Neil Flack (capt), Haris Aslam, Ryan Brown, Scott Cameron, Harris Carnegie, Mohammad Azeem Dar, Mohammad Ghaffar, Rory Johnston, Ihtisham Malik, Finlay McCreath, Mitchell Rao, Owais Shah, Simon Whait, Jack Waller, Ben Wilkinson.