The New Zealand Under 19 team have been beaten by their South African counterparts by six wickets in their third warm-up match of the ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup.
Coming off two victories against Scotland and West Indies, the Kiwis faced a stern test against the Proteas and although they lost, will certainly be better off for the experience.
The result was never of major concern for either side, with building for the start of the tournament on Sunday the real focus. New Zealand though will walk away knowing they have a few things to work on.
Having been set a target of 185, South Africa never looked in doubt during their chase, with wicket-keeper batsmen Quinton de Kock blasting 80 off just 65 balls.
Bowler Theo van Woerkom snared a couple of late wickets for New Zealand, but it was always going to be tough to defend such a low total.
After 29.2 overs South Africa surpassed the New Zealand’s 184 to claim a big win.
The coaches would have been pleased to see bowler Edward Nuttall return to the line-up after recovering from a finger injury, which had put the left-armer in doubt. Nuttall put in a solid performance with figures of none for 32 from six overs.
Earlier New Zealand had failed to put together a substantial partnership, with a number of small cameos giving them a fighting chance.
Opener Michael Davidson was resilient in his 24, but fell in the 20th over and New Zealand were in the precarious position of 69 for three.
Regular wickets continued to fall, despite a number of batsmen making starts. Henry Walsh (33) and Connor Neynens (33*) worked hard for their side but didn’t receive enough support.
The South African bowling attack was economical and the pressure it created was evident.
It wouldn’t be how New Zealand envisioned the match going, but they’ll be looking to put in a much improved performance in their last pre-tournament hit-out against Nepal tomorrow.