South Africa win despite Bell-Drummond 86
South Africa Under-19 189 for 6 (de Kock 40, Verster 28*, Knight 3-27) beat England Under-19 187 for 7 (Bell-Drummond 86, Subrayen 3-32) by four wickets (D/L method)
South Africa Under-19 opened their tour of England with a tense four-wicket win over England Under-19 in a rain-affected match at Edgbaston. Daniel Bell-Drummond's classy 86 carried England to a competitive 187 for 7 in 31 overs, but South Africa got ahead of the rate thanks to bruising knocks from opener Quinton de Kock and James Price.
The hosts' spinners, led by the impressive Tom Knight, appeared to tilt the match in England's favour as panic set in towards the end of South Africa's chase, but Regardt Verster and Calvin Savage's 37-run partnership saw their side home with an over to spare.
After repeated showers had delayed the start of the match by several hours, it soon became apparent that the seamers would find no joy in the Edgbaston pitch. Bell-Drummond and the diminutive Sam Kelsall rocketed out of the blocks in an opening stand that brought 76 runs in just over 11 overs, with all of South Africa's frontline seamers coming for some tap and Rabian Engelbrecht giving away 22 runs in just two overs.
Captain Keaton Jennings turned to his spinners, and Prenelan Subrayen soon had Kelsall stumped. England's middle order consolidated and managed to keep up a quick scoring rate, but the spinners kept chipping away, left-armer Lesiba Ngoepe striking a telling blow when he had Bell-Drummond caught at deep midwicket one ball after he had been smoked for six over wide long-on, his dismissal sparking a mini collapse at the death.
If anything, South Africa's openers bettered England's storming start, and de Kock weathered the loss of his captain to blaze his way to a 28-ball 40. No batsman settled in to anchor the innings, however, and though Price's brutal 35, which included three massive sixes, put South Africa ahead of the asking rate, when he fell England would have felt they were in with a chance.
When Ngoepe chipped Knight straight to extra cover to give the left-arm spinner his third wicket, 35 runs were still needed and a tight finish loomed. England captain Adam Ball eventually had to turn back to his seamers, however, and left-hander Verster took the chance to seal the result with a flurry of boundaries.