South African Colts hope to do better

Published: Saturday, February 16, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
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South African team's preparation leading to the event has been pretty mediocre. They suffered heavy defeats at the hands of India and Bangladesh in the home tri-series last Oct. This setback came on the back of some detailed preparation, which saw them defeat British and South African University sides in April 2007, while the team has also had three talent camps at the High Performance Centre in Pretoria.

SA Colts looking to improve on its recent performances and make a positive impact in the 7th edition of ICC U-19 World Cup in Malaysia.

Not since they reached the final of the competition in 2002, when they were defeated by seven wickets by Australia, have they really threatened at the competition, although a Graeme Smith-inspired side the current South Africa captain scored 348 runs at the event

However it took home Plate title in 2000.

Team Manager Mogandran Aroomugam Pillay aims to qualify for the Super League round of the competition first and then wants to set his sights higher. Speaking about the tournament, he says: "The World Cup provides a stage to allow cricketers to showcase their talents and is also an indicator of the talent and strength of under 19 cricket at the international level."

Captain Wayne Parnell agrees: "Winning is not everything, but the will to win is. We want to play good quality cricket and test our skills against the rest of the world. But we also want to use this opportunity to make friends with cricketers from other countries."

Key players:

Skipper Wayne Parnell: All-rounder with strong leadership qualities and was part of the 2006 squad. He was instrumental in South Africa reaching the Plate semi-final, picking up two wickets against Scotland in 2006.

Jonathan Vandiar: A talented left hand batsman and bowls orthodox leg-breaks too.

Reeza Hendricks is a stylish right-handed batsman while Pieter Malan is considered to be a solid opener scoring 71 and 57 against India in the Tri-Nation Tournament.

Other names to watch out for are Jon-Jon Smuts who is an aggressive right-handed batsman while left-handed Rilee Rossouw is known to contribute well with his bat. On the bowling front, expect off spinner Yaseen Yallie to star.

Squad: Wayne Parnell (captain), Roy Adams, Matthew Arnold, Clayton August, Bradley Barnes, Daniel Childs, Sybrand Engelbrecht, Reeza Hendricks, Pieter Malan, Mangaliso Mosehle, Abraham Pienaar, Rilee Rossouw, Jon Jon Smuts, Yaseen Vallie, Jonathan Vandiar.

SA Colts in U-19 World event so far:

1988: Did not play (Aparthaid ban); 1998: 2nd in Super League pool; 2000: Plate Champions; 2002: R-up; 2004: 4th in Super League pool; 2006: Plate Semi-final.


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