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Rudolph slams unbeaten 156, takes RSA to 295

Having won the toss, the South African captain TL Tsolekile decided to have a bat in South Africa's first match of the Youth World Cup. A Puttick and G Smith took strike. When Puttick played all over a straight delivery and was clean bowled by medium pacer S Das, the joy on the faces of the Nepal team was obvious for all to see. Unfortunately for them, there was very little to celebrate as Smith and Jacques Rudolph clinically destroyed the Nepali bowling attack.

Rudolph was unstoppable as he cut and drove with power. His unbeaten essay of156 off 140 balls was studded with shots that signaled that the lad will go far in cricket. Though the Nepal bowling was hardly threatening to a superbly conditioned and fit South African side, the fact that Rudolph cashed in on the opportunity stood apart.

At the other end, Smith was batting well till he nicked one through to the 'keeper on 74. At that point, South Africa were motoring along at 188/2 and there was very little the Nepal captain could hope for. J Trott (39 not out) played a few lusty blows towards the end of the innings and saw the South Africans through to 295/5.

In response, the Nepal top order struggled to score against the tight medium pace of Morkel and Senekal. Though they did not pick up any wickets themselves, they forced the Nepali openers to run risky singles. As is the case with the senior South African team, the fielding was absolutely spectacular, and two run outs ensued. With both openers, Kiran Agarwal (1) and U Shreshta (11) dismissed cheaply, the South African captain brought on the spinners.

Adding to his superb knock of 156 not out, Rudolph chipped in by taking the wicket of Virender Shah. Shah did not trouble the scorers, and the same was true of the next man in - S Shreshta. At 24/4 off 12 overs Nepal was staring defeat in the face when the clouds burst and drenched the FTZ Stadium in Katunayake. The rains came down unabated for close to half and hour and after two inspections, the umpires decided to call off play. South Africa would be understandably unhappy with the result, but as this the first game of their World Cup campaign, it should not bother them too much.