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England U19s make it two out of two vs SA in spite of Breetzke century

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England’s under-19 team are two for two against the Coca-Cola South Africa U19s after cantering to an eight-wicket win despite Matthew Breetzke scoring the only century of the day in a match that was the second-last clash of the Cricket South Africa (CSA) Youth One-Day International Triangular Series at Senwes Park on Thursday. The teams will meet again this Sunday, 10 December for the tournament final at the same venue.

Two hundred-run partnerships between Tom Banton (74 off 80 balls) and Liam Banks (37 off 61) for the first wicket and between Harry Brook (63* off 53) and Will Jacks (71* off 53) for the third, ensured the visitors’ success after being set a 249-run target by the hosts, who won the toss and elected to bat first.

Akhona Mnyaka (1/39) and Andile Mogakane (1/39) were the bowlers who managed to strike, as the rest of the attack struggled to stem the run flow which saw the tourists reach their target with 53 balls to spare.

Earlier on in the day, openers Matthew Breetzke and Jiveshen Pillay (41 off 55 balls) got their side off to a flying start before their 96-run stand was disturbed by Jacks (3/41) with the wicket of the latter at the top of the 17th over. Breetzke shone with the bat, his 101-run knock coming off 105 deliveries, including six fours and one six before he fell to Jack Plom (3/47) at the end of the 43rd.

The middle order struggled to add runs to the board, with captain Raynard van Tonder managing 14 runs before number seven batsman, Hermann Rolfes (34 off 46) put on the only other 50 partnership with Breetzke. Thando Ntini (10*), Mnyaka (9 off 12) and Kgaodise Molefe (8* off 2) did well to squeeze 24 runs from the last 15 balls of the innings, giving their side a respectable total to defend, but it was not meant to be in the end.

The final will see the sides meet one last time under lights with South Africa hoping to come out on top in the do or die match.

A displeased Van Tonder said; “We’re very disappointed losing today. I firstly thought that we didn’t have enough runs on the board. I thought Matty (Breetzky) batted really well but he needed someone to support him. As we went to bowl, we spoke about setting the tone up front with the ball and with our fielding but we really didn’t field well. I don’t think we played well enough today.

“(In order to win on Sunday) I feel our batters need to come to the party, the top order have scored a few runs but the middle order has been struggling.”

It’s not all doom and gloom however, the young skipper has faith in his charges and believes that they can turn their luck around in the final.

“I still feel that we’re a really good side,” he continued. “We haven’t played to our potential but I still think we’re a good enough side. We just need to get everything together and right on Sunday, our batting, bowling and fielding is going to have to be at their best so we can bounce back from the last two losses against England.”

First ball is at 14:00.