Kwena Maphaka of South Africa Under-19 bowls at Ryan Simbi of Zimbabwe in their ICC U19 Men's Cricket World Cup Super Six match at JB Marks Oval in Potchefstroom on Wednesday.
Image: Michael Steele-ICC/ICC via Getty Images
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Kwena Maphaka’s brilliant five-wicket haul and an unbeaten half-century from Lhuan-dre Pretorius ensured South Africa Under-19 cruised past Zimbabwe by nine wickets in their ICC U19 World Cup Super-Six encounter at JB Marks Oval in Potchefstroom on Wednesday. 

The 17-year-old left-arm fast-bowling sensation’s figures of five for 34 were his second “fifer” in the competition after claiming his first against the West Indies in the group stages. 

He became the joint-leading wicket-taker in this edition of the junior competition with Pakistan’s Ubaid Shah and India’s Saumy Pandey on 12 wickets from four games. Maphaka also moved into the third spot on South Africa’s all-time wicket-takers list in U-19 cricket with 37 victims, behind Rabian Engelbrecht (38) and Prenelan Subrayen (48).

The junior Proteas’ win took them a step closer to a semifinal berth and will be a confidence booster heading into their clash against Sri Lanka on Friday. 

Chasing a modest 103, South Africa’s strong batting line-up knocked the score off in the blink of an eye. 

The opening pair of Pretorius and Steve Stolk delivered almost every shot in the book as the Zimbabwean bowling attack struggled for the breakthrough.

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The duo posted 86 runs off 62 balls for the first wicket before Stolk was dismissed by Anesu Kimoriwo for a quick-fire 37 off 27 balls, just a handful of runs short of the target.

That did not deter Pretorius, who finished with an unbeaten 53 off 39 as the junior Proteas reached their target in 14 overs.   

Earlier, South Africa won the toss and elected to field in partly cloudy conditions.

The decision by captain Juan James was on the money, as Maphaka ran through the Zimbabwe top-order in an opening spell that saw him bag three wickets for seven runs. 

He dismissed Brandon Sunguro and Campbell Macmillan for ducks and clean-bowled Panashe Taruvinga for just three runs within the first power play.

Ronak Patel (32) and Ryan Kamwemba (24) were the only significant contributors to the Chevrons’ score. They steadied the ship with a 53-run fifth-wicket partnership that threatened to bring Zimbabwe back into the game.

But the smiles from the Zimbabwean changing room were quickly wiped away by Riley Norton and Tristan Luus. They turned the scoreboard from 69/4 to 69/7 in quick time, conceding only 13 runs in their first four overs as a bowling pair. 

Maphaka returned to rattle the tail, claiming the scalps of Newman Nyamhuri (3) and Ryan Simbi for a fourth duck of the innings. 

Luus ended with 3/25 and Norton a miserly 1/7 in five overs.


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