England and South Africa Under 19’s face off in their final Youth Test Match of the series today at the County Ground.
With the last game ending in a draw, there will be even more riding on this final match, as two of the finest Under 19’s teams go head to head. South Africa are currently the cream of the crop in Under 19’s cricket, after winning the World Cup earlier this year.
The first game was held in Cambridge, the visitors won the toss and elected to bat first. England started off strongly taking two wickets in the first 20 overs. The South African middle order held things together though, mainly thanks to a brilliant 149 by wicket keeper Grant Roelofsen, who was ably supported by half centuries from Ryan Rickelton (76), Sibonelo Makhanya (56) and Andile Phehlukwayo (50). This helped the visitors finish 433 all out in the first innings, with the pick of the England bowlers being Josh Shaw who recorded figures of 6 for 103.
In reply, a number of the England batsmen struggled to gain a big score after a good start, with Joe Clarke top scoring on 59. England showed good aggressive tactics, declaring on 352/9. Sibonelo Makhanya and Stefan Klopper were the pick of the South African bowlers taking three wickets each. In the second innings, Ryan Rickelton (81) scored his second half century of the game, along with Janneman Malan (83), as the visitors declared on 300/7. Unfortunately, this was the last piece of action during the game, as the rain came down and ended things prematurely.
One to Watch
Both teams have exceptionally talented squads with both bat and bowl. With the bat, Dominic Sibley will be one to watch, having made headlines at the end of last season, as he became the youngest ever double centurion in the LV= County Championship as the eighteen year old hit 242 against Yorkshire at the Kia Oval in September.
Whilst for South Africa, Grant Roelofsen looks to be the next in the long line of South African wicket keeper batsmen.With the ball, Matt Fisher will be England’s strike bowler during the match. Fisher was impressive in the Under 19’s World Cup earlier in the year. Last season Fisher became the youngest post-war county cricketer, when he played for Yorkshire against Leicestershire in the Yorkshire Bank 40.