Picture: 123RF/JAHANZAIB NAIYYER
Picture: 123RF/JAHANZAIB NAIYYER

The SA Under-19 team’s high-performance consultant Malibongwe Maketa has warned Canada cannot be taken lightly when the South Africans face their next opponents in the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup on Wednesday.

The North Americans face SA at the JB Marks Oval in Potchefstroom, and Maketa’s warning comes just days after the hosts’ discomforting performance in the opener against Afghanistan.

“At age group level‚ there’s never an easy team because you have to deal with what you have in a specific cycle.

“We’ve seen Canada have quality players. They’re also going to [use] spin against us‚” Maketa said. “We’re making sure we’re ticking every box going into the game. We’re looking forward to seeing the growth from the guys in terms of the first game.”

Both sides were on the receiving end of opening defeats, to Afghanistan and the UAE respectively.

Canada batted far better in their game against the UAE than SA in their seven-wicket loss to Afghanistan in Kimberley.

Canada batted their full 50 overs in making 231‚ but due to 100 from Jonathan Figy the UAE cakewalked the chase with more than 10 overs to spare.

That is better than SA’s poor return of being bowled out for 129 in 29.1 overs‚ with Afghanistan needing exactly half of their 50-over allotment to hunt down that target.

Due to the opening Group D results SA are bottom of the log on net run-rate.

They have to win big on Wednesday and hope Afghanistan crush the UAE in the concurrent game to keep their hopes alive.