28 February 2014
The South African under-19 cricket team will face Pakistan in the final of the ICC under-19 Cricket World Cup in Dubai on Saturday after thrashing Australia by 80 runs in their semi-final showdown.
Fast bowler Kagiso Rabada led the way, capturing an outstanding 6 for 25, to help dismiss the Aussies for only 150 as they chased 231 for victory.
‘I couldn’t be more proud’
“I couldn’t be more proud of the guys today,” captain Aiden Markram, who shared in a century opening stand, said after Wednesday’s win. “We started off well with the bat, and although we had a few hiccups here and there, we were able to post a good score thanks to Yas [Valli] in the end.
“KG [Rabada] was outstanding today,” he added. “He’s a really special bowler and he’s got a really bright future ahead of himself if he continues this way.
“We are so happy to have made the country proud. Beating Australia was definitely something we were gunning for and we are chuffed we were able to do it.”
‘An outstanding achievement’
Haroon Lorgat, the CEO of Cricket South Africa, was also thrilled with the team’s performance. “To beat Australia by such a convincing margin of 80 runs at any level of competition is an outstanding achievement, but to do it in a World Cup semi-final is something special,” Lorgat said in a statement.
“The team has played superbly throughout this tournament and it has been heart- warming to see how they have grown in confidence with so many different players contributing to their success.
“We saw it again today with two dominant partnerships up front followed by an excellent bowling and fielding effort. Coach Jennings and the management team deserves full praise.”
Previously, the 2002 team, captained by Hashim Amla, and the 2008 side, led by Wayne Parnell, made the final, but both lost in the title-decider.
Under Markram, the current team is unbeaten in the tournament and also went undefeated in warm-up matches. Pakistan, the side they will face in the final, lost one match in round-robin play to India.