South Africa under-19 assistant coach, Chris van Noordwyk, stressed the significance of the team’s forthcoming matches in pursuit of a spot in the ICC under-19 Cricket World Cup super league quarter-finals, commencing with the match against Canada in Potchefstroom today.
In the aftermath of South Africa's crushing seven-wicket defeat in the tournament opener against Afghanistan, the Proteas may well have to obtain maximum points in the remaining Group D matches to climb up to the top two spots in the points table.
The South Africa U19s will end the group stages with a tussle against the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on January 25 at the Mangaung Oval in Bloemfontein.
Van Noordwyk highlighted that even though the Canadians are not a familiar opposition, the team feels adequately prepared for what they would be grappling with after the debacle from the first game.
“It’s a new game, it’s a new day. We’ve put Afghanistan behind us. We’ve dissected it and we know exactly what we need to do,” Van Noordwyk opined.
“Canada is an unknown quantity to us but we have gone through the footage and they seem to be top-heavy in their batting and we are going to come at them and neutralize that, it’s as simple as that,” he mentioned.
Canada underwent an eight-wicket loss in their World Cup opener to the UAE. They did a fairly good job with the bat and posted 231/8 before UAE's shining star Jonathan Figy blazed 102 off 101 balls that eventually led the UAE young guns to romp to the target with 68 deliveries remaining.
“From a bowling point of view, we are going to stick to our KPI’s (Key Performance Index) and make sure we are nice and aggressive against them.
“We’ll make sure we compete and that they are going to be very uncomfortable for 50 overs.
“For us, every game is a semi-final but again, we have to look after our processes and make sure our team is in a good space; they’re fresh and their minds are clear.
“And that they work towards what we expect from them; the values and the standards that we have set,” he said.
The match between South Africa and Canada will be held at JB Marks Oval — a venue that is a batting paradise and is known for its lightning-fast outfield which makes SA U19 skipper Bryce Parsons feel excited.
“It’s really exciting, playing at this ground. It is known for being one of the quickest outfields in the country, we don’t have to hit the ball too hard.
“A big outfield with lots of singles and twos, so it’s a high-scoring ground and we need to be aware of that in the field as well. We are extremely excited to play here but the most important thing is to try and get the win tomorrow,” the captain added.
Bryce Parsons (Central Gauteng, capt), Khanya Cotani (North West, vice-capt), Luke Beaufort (Eastern Province), Jonathan Bird (Western Province), Merrick Brett (Northerns), Achille Cloete (Boland), Gerald Coetzee (Free State), Tyrese Karelse (South Western Districts), Mondli Khumalo (KwaZulu-Natal), Jack Lees (Central Gauteng), Andrew Louw (Northern Cape), Levert Manje (Central Gauteng), Odirile Modimokoane (North West), Pheko Moletsane (Free State), Tiaan van Vuuren (Eastern Province).
SA under-19s ICC U19 Cricket World Cup Fixtures
January 22 - South Africa v Canada at JB Marks Oval
January 25 - South Africa v UAE at Mangaung Oval
ICC U19 Cricket World Cup Group Stage:
Group A: India, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Japan
Group B: Australia, England, West Indies, Nigeria
Group C: Pakistan, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Scotland
Group D: Afghanistan, South Africa, UAE, Canada