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Ken Borland

SA have made U19 QFs, but will need to be at their best v one of the best teams – England

Posted on February 23, 2022 by Ken

South Africa have made it through to the quarterfinals of the U19 Cricket World Cup in the West Indies but are obviously going to have to be at their best to avoid elimination as they take on one of the most impressive teams in the competition in England, at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium at North Sound, Antigua, on Wednesday.

With Dewald Brevis stealing the limelight in the first couple of games, it was encouraging to see the other Junior Proteas batsmen start to come to the party in the win over Ireland, which was basically a knockout fixture.

Brevis still made 96, but there was a tremendous century by captain George van Heerden and some brilliant late hitting by all-rounders Mickey Copeland and Andile Simelane.

But South Africa are going to need to repeat a similar batting effort against a stronger England attack that is led by a potent left-arm paceman in Joshua Boyden, while leggie Rehan Ahmed will test their abilities against spin.

While the rampant Brevis is the leading run-scorer in the tournament so far with 265 in three innings, England captain Tom Prest has roared to 251 runs.

He generally bats No.3 for England and South Africa have two ferocious fast bowlers in Liam Alder and Matthew Boast, who will want to get Prest in against the swinging new ball.

England, of course, are able to throw some serious cash at their U19 programme, but what the South Africans lack in Rands, they have been making up for in enthusiasm.

But for those wanting to take a punt on the outcome, bookmakers have installed England as the 1.6-1 favourites.

But much depends on Brevis.

“What works for you, you must stick with that,” Brevis, a major Bangalore Royal Challengers fan because his two favourite players – AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli – play for them, said when asked how he would be approaching the knockout encounter.

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