South Africa continued picking up form at the ICC Under-19 Women’s T20 World Cup with a well-judged, five-wicket win over Bangladesh in the Super Six League stages in Potchefstroom.
Set a modest 106 to win, South Africa were in trouble at 41/4 after 10 overs, thanks to a beguiling spell of leg-spin bowling by Rabeya (3/5 off three overs) and an intense display in the field by Bangladesh.
Player of the match, Madison Landsman (37 off 38 balls, three fours and a six) and Karabo Meso (32 not out off 30 balls, four boundaries) came together for a composed 70-run stand which came off 62 balls, which broke the back of the chase to guide the hosts home.
Bangladesh’s decision to bat on the same JB Marks Oval surface on which England had powered to over 200 runs in the morning, met with more resistance than they would have liked. While their batters generally got starts, they never quite could string partnerships, their highest being 31 runs off 33 balls between the Akters, Sumaiya and Shorna.
Two things contributed to the sedate nature of Bangladesh’s progress: disciplined bowling by the South African attack and committed fielding – particularly by the lightning quick Simone Lourens and Jenna Evans – in the outfield.
Off-spinner Kayla Reyneke, who has a happy knack for contributing in all aspects of the game, was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 4/19 off four overs and the prized wicket of the explosive Bangladesh opener Afia Prottasha.
Prottasha, who seemed to struggle with injury, cut a frustrated figure in a 21-run innings in which she tried to hit the ball too hard and often missed, with Dilara Akter top-scoring with 23 off 28 balls (one boundary).
Bangladesh’s total of 106/6 was seen to be a touch on the modest side, but Marufa Akter’s opening spell of none for two in her first two overs – and the run-out of Elandri Janse van Rensburg with just four runs on the board – meant winning the match would be easier said than done for South Africa.
Enter Landsman and Meso with a partnership that made everyone wonder what the fuss was all about.
Scores in brief:
Toss: Bangladesh, who elected to bat.
Bangladesh 105 for 6 in 20 overs (Sumaiya Akter 23, Afia Prottasha 21, Kayla Reyneke four for 19, Miane Smit one for 20)
South Africa 108 for 5 in 18.5 overs (Madison Landsman 37, Karabo Meso 32 not out, Rabeya three for 18, Marufa Akter one for 16)
South Africa won by 5 wickets with seven balls to spare.