JOHANNESBURG: Jacob Miltz’ timely half-century helped the Coca-Cola South Africa under-19s recover from a difficult start on Day One in the first of two Youth Tests against England at the Scarborough Cricket Club.
The right-hand batsman’s efforts were aided by another crucial fifty from Jade de Klerk (53) before the visitors were dismissed on 232.
It was a tough start for the South Africans as they lost their openers for only 26 runs when Joshua Richards (8) and Thamsanqa Khumalo (2) fell within the first 12 overs after skipper, Wandile Makwetu won the toss and elected to bat first on a sunny morning in Yorkshire.
With Miltz coming in at three, the St David’s Marist Inanda pupil then put on an important 51-run, third-wicket partnership with Sinethemba Qeshile before the latter was dismissed for 15 runs. Despite having briefly steadied the ship for the visitors, Miltz saw more wickets fall around him, as Makwetu (4) and wicket-keeper/batsman, Jean du Plessis (9) were quickly sent back to the changeroom with the tourists in trouble at 87/4 at lunch.
After the interval, Miltz continued to spearhead the recovery with the bat as he brought up his first Youth International fifty, including 11 boundaries. He was eventually dismissed for a well-played 61 (122) by England’s bowler of the day, Luke Hollman who went on to pick up figures of 4/39 from 25 overs.
Having come in at seven, De Klerk looked to carry the baton for the visitors, as he notched up a hard-fought 48-run partnership with Achille Cloete (29), propelling South Africa to 174/7 at the end of the second session Cloete falling just before the break.
Heading into the last session of a topsy-turvy day, De Klerk continued to toil hard at the crease. Despite the loss of Mondli Khumalo for a 12-ball duck, the right-hander went onto bring up his deserved half-ton, which included eight fours, alongside another impressive lower-order batsman Jarred Jardine (33*) before the visitors were finally bowled out for a decent total 232 in 84.3 overs.
Although the South Africans fought back well, the England bowlers performed admirably throughout, with Jack Plom (3/45), Adam Finch (1/41), Alfie Gleadall (1/47) and Harrison Ward (1/26) all picking up wickets.
Despite the loss of opener, Liam Banks (4) in the first over thanks to a Achille Cloete delivery, the hosts went on quickly by their business in their reply, as they scored at more than five an over to reach stumps on 46/1 – trailing by 186 runs in the first innings.