Benoni (South Africa) | Indian bowlers limited South Africa to 244 for seven with a well-oiled performance on a pitch that offered them considerable assistance in the ICC Under-19 World Cup semifinals here on Tuesday.
South Africa found fight through wicketkeeper batter Lhuan-dre Pretorious (76, 102 balls) and Richard Seletswane (64 100 balls), but those efforts were not enough to rattle the five-time and defending champions.
After losing Steve Stolk and David Teeger inside the first 10 overs, South Africa consolidated with Pretorious and Seletswane milking 72 runs for the third wicket. But they took nearly 22 overs for that.
The South African top-order just could not get going against India pacers Naman Tiwari (1/52) and Raj Limbani (3/60) who found appreciable pace, bounce and carry from the Willowmoore track to trouble them.
Even when Seletswane and Pretorious were reconstructing the SA innings, they failed to score at a brisk pace, as the run-rate for a large part remained under four.
Left-arm spinners Saumy Pandey (1/38) and Musheer Khan (2/43) along with off-spinner Priyanshu Moliya shackled the host batters' progress in this phase, bowling a tidy line and length.
Pretorious, who tried to bring in some momentum hammering Moliya for a six over the mid-wicket, departed just as the alliance began to blossom.
Pretorious, who made his third successive fifty in this event, wanted to cart Musheer over mid-wicket but a leaping Murugan Abhishek held on to a stunner to end his stay.
However, Seletswane carried on with lot of determination and completed his fifty in 90 balls with a single off left-arm seamer Tiwari.
But Seletswane also could not build on the platform as he soon fell to Tiwari, as his hoick ended in the hands of a running-in Moliya in the deep.
Juan James (24 off 19 balls) and Tristan Luus (23 off 12 balls) helped South Africa amass 81 runs off the last 10 overs but they might find that middle-over lethargy tough to overcome.
However, South Africa, the 2014 champions, can take a modicum of consolation from the fact that they are the first side to score more than 200 against this Indian attack.