The morning after their exit from the main competition of the ICC Under-19 World Cup 2016, the South Africans had an early morning practice ahead of their last group stage match against Scotland at Cox’s Bazar. The team are looking to put the past behind them and continue to play their last four matches in the tournament to the very best of their ability. They will enter the Plate Championship which will be played in Cox’s Bazar and will look to end the tournament in the highest position that they can now, which is ninth place.
All-rounder, Dayyaan Galiem is still fighting the disappointment that the team felt yesterday after the loss, but is confident the team can pick themselves up from the performance of the day before. He says: ‘It’s key for us to move on and move forward. Yesterday was one of those experiences that happen to hopefully grow us as both human beings and cricket players. The best position we can finish in is ninth, so we’re going to go for that because we have to finish strong and restore some pride. Obviously everyone is a little down, but after our talk this morning you can see the spirit lifting up. We can’t look back anymore, we have to look forward. The key is to stay positive and remember what got us here and continue that belief in ourselves.’
Team coach, Lawrence Mahatlane faced a sombre group at the start of practice, but spirits were high in the end after a few honest moments among players. He says: ‘Right now we are preparing to take on Scotland, that is the main objective for the team at this point in time. You learn more from losses than from victories, but it’s important that those learnings are implemented. As a team, as a squad we’re hurting, we’re very disappointed at our performance, but we’ve had to pick ourselves up this morning. The batsmen had a chat and with the exception of one player, the rest of us felt that we let ourselves down in terms of executing our disciplines.’
All is not lost however, Mahatlane believes in his team and the potential of the individuals in it. Mahatlane says: ‘For me, I look at my job and I see part of it is making sure that our young men grow and I’m sure that in the last four games we will see that growth as well as some maturity and consistency. We have to go one game at a time, we play Scotland tomorrow and I expect to see batsmen get in and getting big runs, taking responsibility for their areas. Yesterday we didn’t do that, but I know what these players are capable of and it’s just a matter of them growing in confidence and playing their natural game.’