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International Under 19's 2003

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Game 43

Girls 19 & Under

Grand Final

South Africa v New Zealand

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South Africa
New Zealand

The inaugural Grand Final of this most impressive division, the 19 and Under Girls.

In its last two games, the New Zealand girls have defeated the previously undefeated South Africans and, in the Semi-Final, the highly fancied Australians. The New Zealand girls have by all accounts easily exceeded the more realistic expectations, and are now looking to repeat their last game against South Africa and go all the way.

South Africa, who have taken a huge risk by travelling with only 8 players, are hoping to regain their previous irresistable form and taking out the major prize. The girls represent the most realistic chance South Africa have of gaining a title, although their 19 and Under Boys are in their own Grand Final later today. And adding just a twist to the tale, Monique de Buys, the South African wicket-keeper and one of their more attacking batswomen, injured herself in the last game they played and isn't 100% fit for this game.

The South African openers (de Buys/de Villiers) lost a wicket (runout) in the first over, but recovered to record one of their characteristically great starts, a partnership of 46. They lost one more wicket in the fourth over, and de Buys cracked one 7.
The second pair (van de Vyer/Herbst) poured on the pressure, not losing a wicket and posting a fine 49 partnership--two 5's to van de Vyer and a 7 to Herbst helping their cause no end.
New Zealand had to start taking wickets, and did so on the first ball of the third partnership (Cocklin/Frylinck) with a runout. But their next (also a runout) was not taken until the first ball of the twelfth over, and by then the damage had been done. The third pair put on 41, and South Africa were 136 with four overs remaining.
South African Captain Yolandie Bronkhurst and Nicole Henderson finished off the innings, and equalled the second pair's effort in not losing a wicket. They put on a poweful 47, and their team had reached the massive total of 183.

New Zealand needed each partnership to average 46, a monumental task.

The New Zealand innings began well (Nielson/O'Reilly), with no wickets in the first three overs and a progressive score of 31 (which was just 2 runs behind the South African's score at the same point in their innings). A wicket (runout) in the fourth over, and the partnership realised a very solid 37. New Zealand were still in the running, but had to maintain 40+ partnerships.
The second pair (Kelly/Pitcher) confronted an increasingly more determined and efficient South Africa, and lost five wickets, for a partnership of 18 and a halfway team total of 55. Almost suddenly, New Zealand were 128 runs behind with just 8 overs remaining. But New Zealand were not done yet, and their third pair (Dickie/Steele) set about building a necessarily huge partnership. But South Africa were able to exercise just enough control, and take two wickets, to keep the partnership well below what was required. The third partnership realised a fighting 40, but South Africa had the game in total control. The last New Zealand pair (Watterus/Dumper) came out and batted as hard and effectively as they knew how. Despite losing a wicket early, they had scored 53 runs in 3 overs and 5 balls, not scoring off just 2 out of the 29 balls faced up until then. But as courageous as the New Zealander girls were, the South Africans had it won, and finished the game off with two consecutive runouts on the third and second-last ball. A fighting 46 run partnership to finish New Zealand's campaign, and South Africa are the World 19 and Under Girl's Champions.

The New Zealand Girls, as mentioned earlier, had exceeded all realistic expectation--well and truly exceeded them. Disappointment at losing the Grand Final will soon make way for pride in their achievement, and that's as it should be. Congratulations and well played New Zealand.

And South Africa. What a fantastic team, on and off the court. Their singing and chanting in support of all the other South African teams has been one of the many unforgettable memories of this tournament, and they contributed significantly to the atmosphere and excitement of the week. As they did on the court too. They are worthy winners, and they and the New Zealanders and Australians gave us the pick of the games overall (yes, even more exciting than the draw in the Over 35 Men in ours and most others' opinions).

South Africa are the inaugural 19 and Under World Champions. Congratulations South Africa, very, very well played.

And congratulations to all the 19 and Under teams, Boys and Girls, for a most impressive display.

The future of our sport is in good hands.


© Indoor Cricket World 2003