Mahatlane reflects after SA U19 loss to New Zealand

South Africa U19 coach Lawrence Mahatlane reflected on the 71-run loss against New Zealand at the U19 World Cup and looked ahead to Wednesday’s quarter-final clash against an unpredictable Pakistani team.

The coach was especially dismayed by the amount of extras bowled in the match.

He said: “I think one of the most disappointing things with the game was that we always speak about winning the crucial moments of the game and setting the tone up front and with the ball, we failed to do that and with the bat we failed to do that in both innings.

“It’s something that we pride ourselves in getting right and having bowled 24 wides and two no balls is really unacceptable.”

The team saw changes for the first time in the tournament proper with four players getting their first appearances in the contest.

Mahatlane insists that the changes made were not a contributing factor, citing that there are no players in the squad of 15 that are not capable of giving match-winning performances.

“I think we’ve got 15 good players and it’s very important that everybody gets an opportunity to prove that they can play,” he continued.

“Watching the way that Jean (du Plessis) batted, watching the way that Fraser (Jones) bowled, watching (Aandile) Mogakane and (Kgaudise) Molefe bowl shows that we have 15 good players here, it’s a pity that we couldn’t put it together as a unit.”

Team captain, Raynard van Tonder echoed his coach’s sentiments during his post-match press conference.

The skiper said: “All of us can play here, I don’t think that anyone of the 15 isn’t good enough to play, it’s just a matter of everyone on the park putting our game plans together and executing them on the day.”

Mahatlane is thinking along the same lines heading into the team’s must-win match against Pakistan on Wednesday.

He added: “It’s about executing our skills and being consistent in the execution of our skills. I think we have a very good group of players that should pull through on Wednesday.

“One of the key factors for me, especially when you don’t know much about the opposition is worrying about our own game and making sure that we execute our skills to the best of our ability.”