Cricket: Table set for young Proteas against India

Henry

It’s South Africa against India in one semi-final and Australia against Pakistan (or Bangladesh) in the other semi-final of this year’s World Cup tournament for o. 19 cricket teams.

South Africa, India and Australia already made sure of their places in the semi-finals on Friday, while Pakistan (or Bangladesh) can clinch their place in their last match in the Supersix round on Saturday.

Australia finished above South Africa in Group 1 while India will finish first in Group 2.

This will mean that India and South Africa will battle it out at Willowmoore Park in Benoni and Australia and Pakistan/Bangladesh will also take on each other in Benoni.

The young South Africans were very impressive in their last three matches when they beat Scotland (by 7 wickets), Zimbabwe (9 wickets) and Sri Lanka (119 runs).

Admittedly, the young Proteas got bogged down against England (according to the Duckworth-Lewis formula), while they beat the young West Indians by 31 runs.

The team has excellent batsmen in Steve Stolk, Lhaun-dré Pretorius, Dewan Marais and James Teeger while Kwena Maphaka and Riley Norton are brilliant as fast bowlers.

The controversy when Teeger was relieved of the captaincy shortly before the tournament because he dedicated an honor in October to the young Jewish soldiers in Israel fighting against Hamas, brought the team together.

Maphaka (18 wickets) has so far taken the most wickets in the tournament, while Norton with his 11 wickets is also making a big impression.

Among the batsmen, Stolk is the eighth best batsman (214 runs).

Pretorius (211 runs) is ninth and Marais (197 runs) 12th in the ranking for the most runs.

India also put in quite a few powerful performances in are still unbeaten.

Their biggest stalwarts with the bat are Musheer Khan, Sachin Dhas and Uday Saharan.

Dhas and Saharan scored a record partnership of 215 runs for the fourth wicket against Nepal on Friday to keep the Indians on the winning track.

Seamer Saumy Panday has already taken 16 wickets and Namab Tiwari is also well on his way.

India is undoubtedly the most successful team in o. 19 tournaments. The young Indians have already won the title five times and played in the final eight times.

Before this year’s tournament, India had won 69 of its 89 matches.

South Africa won the tournament for the first time in the United Arab Emirates in 2014, when Aiden Markram and Kagiso Rabada were the brightest stars.

South Africa were also in the semi-finals on two other occasions (2002 and 2008), but were beaten both times.

Now they are going to sit down again at the main table.