Proteas prevail in pulsating finale
England Under-19s narrowly missed out on securing a series victory over their South African counterparts as they suffered defeat in a thrilling climax to the second Test in Paarl.
Set 318 for victory, the tourists began the final day of four on 31 without loss knowing a draw would be enough to seal a 1-0 triumph following their victory at Newlands last week.
England appeared on course when taking lunch on 121 for one, but South Africa, who had been eight for four on the first morning of this encounter, struck at regular intervals thereafter.
They eventually claimed the final England wicket in the last hour of the day, dismissing their opponents for 250 to claim a 67-run triumph.
In truth, a drawn series appeared a fitting outcome after players on both sides demonstrated admirable skill, focus and character throughout eight days of competition.
An England squad featuring a host of new faces can be extremely proud of their efforts; attention will now turn to a five-match one-day series between the two teams, which begins in Paarl next Wednesday.
South Africa were made to work hard in today’s morning session as first-innings centurion Dominic Sibley and Jonny Tattersall extended their opening stand to 63.
Sibley was eventually ousted by Vincent Moore, but Tattersall then shared 80 with Harry Finch, who fell four short of a half-century when departing to Proteas skipper Diego Rosier.
England were rocked by a trio of further losses as Kishen Velani, Ben Duckett and the defiant Tattersall, whose 63 spanned 196 balls, perished to spin.
That persuaded the hosts to keep faith with their slow bowlers even once the new ball became available and they earned further reward when Vassilli Orros had Callum Jackson caught behind for 13.
Ed Barnard and Miles Hammond dug in with a partnership of 49 to put England back on course for a series win, but the final four wickets fell in quick succession.
Daniel Bedingham was named man of the match for his momentum-shifting 131 in South Africa’s second innings, while England skipper Olly Stone was the predictable man of the series, having claimed 17 wickets across the two Tests at an average of 10.