South Africa U-19s v England U-19s, 4th ODI, Paarl January 15, 2009

Series alive as England find form

Cricinfo staff

England U19s 222 for 7 (Northeast 68, Cobb 50) beat South Africa U19s 214 (Mosehle 58, Pienaar 53, Dawson 3-32) by 8 runs

England's young cricketers have taken time to hit their straps on their tour of South Africa, but the Under-19s secured a tense eight-run win over their South African counterparts to level the five-match ODI series 2-2 with one to play. South Africa's Mangaliso Mosehle and Obus Pienaar both cracked fifties but, in spite of a spirited effort from the tailenders, they fell tantalisingly short.

Batting first, they reached 222 for 7, with Sam Northeast stroking 68 at the top of the order while Josh Cobb continued his impressive form with 50 from 70 balls. The pair were in control, putting on 67 for the second wicket before Northeast was trapped in front by Thomas Kaber, a 16-year-old left-arm spinner from Transvaal making his debut. England's innings fell away, as Dale Deeb made crucial inroads, but there were useful contributions from the lower-order. Hamza Riazuddin made 17, Thomas Poynton an unbeaten 18 while Azeem Rafiq clobbered 10 to loft the total to 222 for 7.

Chris Wood removed both South Africa openers cheaply as England soon had South Africa wobbling at 89 for 5, and after making 58 Mosehle chipped a return catch back to Nathan Buck. Pienaar took them close and found good support in Bokang Mosena, but the introduction of Liam Dawson - captain for the day - provided England with key wickets as the lower-order fell away.

However, like the seniors have shown in Australia, South Africa weren't quite done. Deeb and Kaber, the last men in, each hit a four in 8.1 overs of tension before Dawson had Deeb caught for 12 as England sneaked home by eight runs.