Hosts off to winning start
South Africa Under-19s 260 for 6 (Hendricks 66, Richards 59) beat Sri Lanka Under-19s 257 for 8 (Gunathilleke 70, Jayasundera 64, Mofokeng 3-52)
A thrilling opening match set up the Tri-Nation Under-19s Tournament in South Africa beautifully as the hosts held their nerve to beat Sri Lanka by four wickets in Johannesburg. The South African bowlers, led by Sammy Mofokeng, did well to keep Sri Lanka to just above 250, before the openers - Dominic Hendricks and wicketkeeper-captain Josh Richards - hit crucial half-centuries to ensure the hosts got off to a winning start.
Sri Lanka were under the cosh from the start after being put in. With Mofokeng and Graham Hume denting them early, they clawed to 79 for 4. Udara Jayasundera however, anchored the innings well with a watchful fifty, including six fours. But it was No. 7 and Man of the Match Dhanushka Gunathilleke's breezy half-century which provided some late impetus. He smashed nine fours and two sixes and starred in a 91-run eighth-wicket stand with Charith Jayampathi. He became Mofokeng's third victim, but not before taking the visitors to a sizeable score.
Hendricks and Richards led the charge during the reply, putting on 119. While Richards played the aggressor, hitting seven fours and a six during his 67-ball stay, Hendricks provided good support with seven boundaries. Rumesh Buddika and Jayasundera provided a brief glimmer of hope for Sri Lanka, but Cody Chetty's quick 48 strengthened South Africa further. Needing five runs off the final over, Malcolm Nofal wafted the second ball for a six to end the match off in style
South Africa take on India in the second match tomorrow .