Boys 19 & Under
Australia v South Africa
The inaugural 19 and Under Boys International Grand Final.
Australia undefeated for the week, and looking a very strong side--their lowest winning margin was 49 (against South Africa). South Africa lost two games, both to Australia, and had two great fighting wins over New Zealand, including the heart-stopping, back-from-the-brink win in the Semi-Final.
The Australia openers (Howe/Adams) started solidly, losing one wicket and scoring 28 runs from their first three overs. They then plundered 21 runs off Semi-Finals bowling sensation M. Lubbe, for a partnership of 49. In one over they changed a good start into a great start. The second pair of Australians (Tedge/Landrigan) also lost only one wicket (runout), but they scored a fine 54 from their four overs (with 34 runs from the bat of Landrigan alone). After eight, Australia were in a very strong position, with a team total of 103. South Africa really had to do something spectacular, and very soon, or the the game would be out of their reach before their innings started.
But the Australians had no intention of letting up. Their third pair (Rheinberger/Gay) also lost just one wicket (and survived a third-ball situation) for a partnership of 39. Australia were 142 after twelve overs, and South Africa had still not found a way into the game--or more accurately, Australia had not let them in. This was emphatically highlighted when the fourth Australian pair (McKay/Zorko) emulated the previous pairs and also lost just one wicket (and also survived a third-ball situation). A partnership of 36, and an imposing team total of 178.
And only four wickets lost in the whole innings, with not a single one of them "off the bat" so to speak--they were all runouts.
South Africa needed all four partnerships to average around 45 runs. It was going to take an exceptional effort.
South African first pair (Q. Lubbe/Roux) got off to a flying start,
taking 13 runs from their first over. They then lost a wicket (runout
on third-ball) in the second over, two wickets in the third (runout,
caught), and two in the fourth (bowled, caught) for a partnership
of 21. And Australia had picked up more wickets in four overs than
South Africa did in sixteen. The second South African pair (de Villiers/M.
Lubbe) lost three wickets, but with consistent scoring (including
two 5's, a 7 and a couple of 4's from Lubbe) they posted the third
highest partnership of the match, 42. But still they were 115 behind,
with 8 overs remaining.
Both teams have some exceptional talents in their midst, and the experience gained over this week will make all participating teams so much stronger in the future. Such is the spread of talent between all the teams, we do not expect any one team to dominate this division over the coming years--instead, expect some more epic games between Australia, South Africa and New Zealand when they all compete again in the next World Internation in South Africa in 2004.
Australia are the inaugural World 19 and Under Boys Champions. Congratulation Australia.