West Indies Under-19 all-rounder Matthew Patrick had a telling performance with the bat and ball as the regional team secured a 4 wickets win over South Africa, in the 5th Place Play-off of the ICC Under-19 World Cup at Potchefstroom.

The South Africans, who won the toss and choose to bat, seemed well on their way to a decent total after posting 120 for 4 in the 29th over.  Patrick and left-arm spinner Ashmead Nedd, however, then ripped through the middle order prompting a South Africa collapse that saw the team lose its remaining six wickets for 23 runs and post 143.

In pursuit of what seemed a gettable target, the Windies found themselves in early trouble after losing two wickets with only 11 runs on the board.  Patrick, who came in as the no 6. batsman, steadied the ship with a crucial 25 runs off 61 balls and ensured the team got to the target.  Bryce Parsons and Merrick Brett were the pick of the bowlers for South Africa after turning five of their 19 overs into maidens and picking up four wickets between them.

 

 

Ben Stokes' father is heading home after more than five weeks in hospital in South Africa due to a serious illness.

Ged Stokes was taken ill in Johannesburg ahead of the start of England's opening Test against the Proteas, putting his son's participation in the game in doubt.

However, following an improvement in his dad's condition, the all-rounder played in the Boxing Day fixture, and while the tourists lost at SuperSport Park, they bounced back impressively to record a 3-1 series victory.

Stokes was pivotal to his team's success, scoring 318 runs - including a century in the third Test - at an average of 45.42 while also taking 10 wickets at 22 apiece.

Ahead of the limited-overs leg of the trip, the 28-year-old posted a picture on Instagram with his parents ahead of their return flight, the cricketer declaring his pride at Ged's recovery following three operations while also praising his "incredible" mother, Deb.

"37 days in hospital 3 surgery's [sic] and he's finally on his way home. You are strong and you are stubborn which is why you are still with us," Stokes wrote in the post.

"I am so proud to be your son. And as for you mam, behind every man is a stronger women [sic] you are incredible."

Stokes has been rested for the upcoming three-match ODI series with South Africa, which begins on February 4 in Cape Town, but will return to England duty for a trio of Twenty20 games that complete the tour.

West Indies slipped from a position of strength to a two-wicket defeat to New Zealand in Wednesday’s quarterfinals of the 2020 ICC U19 World Cup in South Africa.

Faf du Plessis spoke of his sadness South Africa could not give Vernon Philander a fairytale finish to his Test career after their side went down to a heavy defeat against England.

England sealed a 3-1 series win by wrapping up a 191-run victory with a day to spare in the fourth and final Test at the Wanderers.

The match was far from a dream send-off for Philander, who having struggled with a hamstring injury ended with just 14 runs and two wickets as the Proteas lost a third straight contest

"I'd like to thank Vern for his services to the Proteas over the years," Du Plessis said after Philander was given a standing ovation and a guard of honour from his team-mates having been dismissed for 10 by man of the match Mark Wood.

"This team will miss him so, so much. We will sit with him tonight in the dressing room and share in the memories. 

"Off the field he's been a champion guy and I'm sad this game wasn't the fairytale moment he deserves.

"It's a lot of effort and time away from family, the sacrifices you make for over 10 years. We're very thankful."

Du Plessis, who has hinted his own Test career may be nearing its end, acknowledged the Proteas had fallen short, particularly when it came close to their batting.

The skipper added: "Right through this series after that first game, England were better in every department than us. 

"We did play well in that first game, but one Test doesn't make a summer. We didn't put enough runs on the board, though Rassie van der Dussen played well here and was unlucky not to get a great hundred.

"Anrich Nortje came through shining for us, we need pace to take the place of the Steyns and Morkels, and he has come through - the skill to land the ball in the same area is what has impressed me the most.

"Beuran Hendricks came in with five in his first Test match but from a batting point of view we weren't at our best and the scores reflect that."

Philander was keen to credit England after his Test career came to a close.

"Obviously not the way I wanted to end," he said.

"All credit to Joe Root and his team. We all fight hard on the park but at the end of the day we remain gentlemen. 

"To my guys, thanks for making it such an honour for me to wear this badge in the last few years. It's been an honour and privilege to share a dressing room with so many greats.

"I think now the hard work starts, giving back to young talent is my mission in life, hopefully I can mentor a couple to play for this wonderful team one day."

Joe Root believes the sky is the limit for England as a Test team after they completed a 3-1 series win in South Africa.

England wrapped up the series with a 191-run victory in the fourth Test at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on Monday.

The triumph marks England's first series success since a 3-0 sweep of Sri Lanka in November 2018.

Dom Sibley, playing in only his second Test series, top-scored for England with 324 runs, forming an opening partnership with another new boy in Zak Crawley.

Ollie Pope scored two half-centuries and his first century while spinner Dom Bess vindicated his selection with a crucial six-wicket performance in the third Test. 

With so many young players contributing to an impressive victory, captain Root is confident there is a lot more to come from his side.

"Very special indeed. It's taken a lot," Root said of the win at the post-match presentation. "To pick ourselves up and play the way we have done in the last three games is extremely pleasing.

"It's been a real squad effort from a number of guys that are very much at the start of their international careers.

"The sky's the limit for us now, we have to keep looking to get better. It's been a fantastic series for our development as a Test team."

Ben Stokes won the man of the series award, having played an instrumental role, most notably in the second Test in Cape Town, where he scored 119 runs, claimed six catches and took a match-winning 3-35 in South Africa's second innings. 

He also struck a century in the third Test and finished the series with 12 catches, the most of any fielder, his performance coming after his father was rushed to hospital days before the series.

"The most important thing is that we're walking away with a series win," Stokes said. "It's been a bit of a rollercoaster.

"I hope the old man is in his hospital bed watching this with a big smile on his face."

Mark Wood was the key figure in England's fourth Test win, taking nine wickets in the match and also forming the highest 10th-wicket partnership at the Wanderers as he and Stuart Broad combined for 82 to push the tourists to 400.

Man of the match Wood had not expected to play in the series finale, but he was included after elbow soreness led to Jofra Archer's omission.

The seamer, who has frequently battled injuries in his career, said: "There was a bit of doubt going in but boy am I glad I played now.

"I'm over the moon. I've had a lot of dark days, credit to the backroom staff, everyone's so supportive, [head coach] Chris Silverwood tries to get me to have fun."

Describing his approach, he added: "I give it everything I've got, run in hard for the captain, as much energy as I can, and let it fly."

England wrapped up a comprehensive 3-1 series win over South Africa as their bowlers sealed a 191-run victory on day four of the fourth Test at The Wanderers.

Rassie van der Dussen agonisingly missed out on his first Test century as England took 10 wickets on Monday in Johannesburg to complete the win with a day to spare.

Chasing a world-record target of 466 in the fourth Test, South Africa had made a solid start on day four before losing captain Faf du Plessis (35) and Van der Dussen (98) in the last 10 minutes before tea.

That dropped the Proteas from 181-2 to 187-4 and England quickly got rid of the home side's lower order in the final session for a third consecutive triumph, Mark Wood (4-54) ending with nine wickets in the match.

England paceman Mark Wood sealed the second five-wicket haul of his Test career and then thanked West Indies great Michael Holding for a priceless piece of advice.

Wood's probing returned figures of 5-46 at The Wanderers as South Africa were all out for 183 on day three of the fourth Test, before England posted 248 in their second innings to set the hosts a world-record run chase.

South Africa will have two days to get the 466 runs they require to win the match and draw the series, but it is a tall order.

And with Wood showing sizzling form with the ball, South Africa may struggle to take the contest to a fifth day.

Asked about his bowling display, Wood said: "I'm over the moon."

Returning from knee and side injuries to reclaim his England place, a conversation Wood had with Holding yielded a morsel of great wisdom from the man who took 249 wickets for West Indies in 60 Tests.

By lengthening his run-up, Wood has taken some of the explosive element out of his action, which should help on the fitness front, and the suggestion came from 65-year-old Holding.

Wood told Sky Sports: "I wish I'd changed my run-up sooner. Some guy did mention it to me..."

With a nod to Holding, who is working for the broadcaster, Wood explained: "He said, 'You're putting too much strain on your body, lengthen your run-up', and since I've done that it's been a lot better.

"I've got a little bit more momentum. It takes a little bit more pressure off my body, whereas off my short run it felt like I had to force it. You're not going to have rhythm every day when you're running in.

"The days where I didn't quite feel it, I was still having to force it and I was putting that extra strain on my body, so it's been nice to take a load off and just feel my way in but still bowl quickly.

"I was stubborn to change it because it had worked for me up to a point. But if I was going to play more cricket or if I was going to improve, I was going to have to change something.

"I just felt it was the right time for me to change it. I wish I had done it earlier, but it's all in the past now."

England's second innings saw opener Dom Sibley make 44, with captain Joe Root adding 58 and all-rounder Sam Curran plundering a rapid 35.

Curran hailed Wood's efforts and reflected the mood in the camp by stressing the tourists are on a high, with their victory prospects looking strong.

Curran told the BBC's Test Match Special podcast: "It's a great position to be in at the close, maybe we would have liked to have been batting tomorrow, but the lead is nice.

"It was nice to have a bit of fun out there with Rooty. Woody with five wickets, what a man, the team is so happy, he's one of the great guys in cricket. For him to come back from injury and get five is amazing."

South Africa all-rounder Vernon Philander was fined 15 per cent of his match fee from his final Test after swearing at Jos Buttler following his first-innings dismissal.

Philander's exchange with Buttler continued a feud between the pair that saw the England wicketkeeper-batsman himself sanctioned for comments made during the second Test.

The Proteas star breached Article 2.5 of the ICC Code of Conduct, relating to "using language, actions or gestures which disparage or which could provoke an aggressive reaction from a batter upon his/her dismissal during an International Match".

On Sunday, Philander accepted a fine and a demerit point for his send-off of Buttler in England's first innings the previous day, although the latter punishment counts for little as Philander prepares to retire.

Philander bowled only nine balls in the tourists' second innings due to a hamstring injury, Joe Root leading his side to 248 all out, setting South Africa a huge target of 466 for victory.

Along with Philander and Buttler, both Kagiso Rabada - consequently suspended - and Ben Stokes have received fines and demerit points in this series, which England lead 2-1 going into the last two days of the fourth and final match.

England cemented their dominance of the fourth Test with South Africa as they closed day three with a 465-run lead in Johannesburg.

After bowling the hosts out for 183, Mark Wood claiming a five-for, England opted against enforcing the follow-on and instead built on their 217-run first-innings advantage.

Captain Joe Root led the way with a 58, his wicket bringing the tourists' fun to an end as Faf du Plessis took a stunning one-handed catch to give Beuran Hendricks 5-64 on his Test debut.

That afforded the Proteas some joy on an otherwise frustrating day and they will return on Monday needing to complete a world-record chase to avoid a 3-1 series defeat.

South Africa resumed on 88-6 on Sunday and facing an uphill struggle which became all the harder when Vernon Philander fell in the first full over of the day in his final Test outing.

Chris Woakes claimed that scalp and Ben Stokes accounted for the stubborn Dwaine Pretorius (37), but it was the impressive Wood (5-46) who took the key wicket of Quinton de Kock for 76.

Dane Paterson was Wood's final victim as South Africa's dismal innings came to an end, England deciding to bat and doing so for the remainder of the day.

Zak Crawley and Dom Sibley enjoyed a 107-run opening stand in the first innings and managed 56 this time before Pretorius dismissed the former. 

Joe Denly was out cheap to Paterson when he inside-edged onto his own stumps, while Sibley went for a patient 44.

There was some typically ambitious hitting in a 24-ball Ben Stokes cameo that yielded 28 runs and six boundaries, while Root had been steadily edging towards his half-century as partners came and went at regular intervals.

Wood added to his bowling exploits with 18 runs from 12 balls and Root was the last man to fall, Du Plessis showing superb athleticism and incredible handling to grasp a fast-moving ball down low to his right.

Ben Stokes has issued a statement apologising for his choice of language after becoming engaged in a verbal altercation with a fan during the fourth Test with South Africa.

The all-rounder was dismissed for two on the opening day at the Wanderers and was heard on a live broadcast aiming expletives at a spectator.

After Friday's play, Stokes – who claimed to have been "subjected to repeated abuse" – took to Twitter to say sorry for his "unprofessional" reaction.

"I wish to apologise for my language that was heard on the live broadcast today after my dismissal," he wrote. "I should not have reacted in that way.

"As I was leaving the playing area, I was subjected to repeated abuse from the crowd. I admit that my reaction was unprofessional and I sincerely apologise for the language I used, especially to the many young fans watching the live telecast around the world.

"Throughout the Tests so far, the support from both sets of fans (England and South Africa) has been brilliant. One incident will not ruin such a competitive series, which we are determined to win."

It remains to be seen if officials will take any action against Stokes, who was one of four batsmen dismissed as England closed with 192 runs on the board.

The tourists lead the four-match series 2-1.

England became the first team to score 500,000 Test runs on the first day of the fourth Test with South Africa, which saw the tourists' strong start curtailed by a final-session fightback from the Proteas.

Joe Root's men were dealt a blow before winning the toss with the news that paceman Jofra Archer would be unable to play at the Wanderers because of elbow soreness.

Having seen his side take command of the third Test in Port Elizabeth with a dominant first-innings batting display, Root elected to give his charges the same opportunity, and openers Zak Crawley and Dom Sibley laid an excellent foundation.

Crawley was in fluent form as he scored his first half-century for his country but England slumped to 157-4 after the first-wicket stand of 107 was broken. 

Root (25 not out) and Ollie Pope (22 not out) steadied the ship, the former seeing England to the half-a-million milestone as they reached 192-4 before bad light stopped play.

After falling six runs short of a fifty at St George's Park, Crawley made no mistake in Johannesburg in a stylish innings that featured 11 boundaries, combining with Sibley for England's first century opening stand since December 2016.

Crawley's maiden international 50 was brought up in more fortuitous fashion with a thick edge through point but Sibley, having successfully reviewed an lbw decision and been given a reprieve by a no-ball, was not so lucky.

A centurion in the second match in Cape Town, Sibley was strangled down the leg side on 44 as Beuran Hendricks claimed a wicket on his Test debut.

Vernon Philander then ensured he will end his final Test with a wicket as Crawley presented a simple catch to Rassie van der Dussen, who made another grab at slip to end a difficult 35-ball spell at the crease for Joe Denly (27).

South African hopes of an England collapse were given a significant boost when talisman Ben Stokes fell to Anrich Nortje for just two, the all-rounder's attempt at a drive seeing him send another straight to Van der Dussen.

Stokes was involved in a verbal altercation with a fan as he left the field but, while England will now have to wait to see if he faces any repercussions from that, in terms of the match their position was improved as Root and Pope provided stability.

They did so in confident fashion. Root surpassed 7,500 Test runs with a pull through midwicket for four and his single through the covers took England to the historic 500,000 mark.

The fading light saw the fifth-wicket partnership interrupted on 35 and, though England have plenty of batting to come, Root and Pope will know that stretching their stand well into day two will go a long way to sealing a 3-1 series victory.

South Africa have promoted Jacques Nienaber to replace Rassie Erasmus as head coach following their Rugby World Cup triumph.

Erasmus reverted back to his position of director of rugby after the Springboks lifted the Webb Ellis Cup in Japan last November and will now oversee his former assistant Nienaber.

Nienaber was named as Erasmus' successor on Friday in a South Africa statement that said the new coaching set-up is "heavily accented on continuity".

Mzwandile Stick retains his position as assistant coach, with Felix Jones now a European-based coaching consultant.

Deon Davids is the new forwards coach, while Bulls scrums coach Daan Human takes up the same role with the world champions and will also stay on with the Super Rugby franchise.

Davids replaces Matt Proudfoot, who joined England's coaching staff this month.

Nienaber described his delight at landing the top job.

"This is a massive honour and responsibility, but I think I have a good understanding of what it entails, especially in this new structure," the 47-year-old said.

"I've worked with Rassie in a coaching capacity for nearly two decades now and we have a very good idea of how each of us thinks, and as I'll still be reporting to him, our working relationship won't be changing.

"It's a big step up for me in terms of carrying the day-to-day leadership role and there'll be other adjustments, but in many ways, it will also be business as usual.

"We've built up a good culture over the past two years and we'll simply be looking to extend that."

Erasmus stated: "Jacques is highly experienced and has worked with the Springboks on three separate occasions now so knows exactly what the job is about.

"Jacques will be responsible for the Test match preparation and day-to-day team operations but, as the director of rugby, I will be with the team for the majority of the time and in the coaches' box with Jacques at matches."

Joe Root would rank a series win over South Africa as his greatest achievement as England Test captain and believes the "sky is the limit" for his young side.

England head into the fourth and final Test at the Wanderers - which starts on Friday - with a 2-1 lead, having already extended their unbeaten run in away Test series against the Proteas to four.

The tourists have been hit hard by both illness and injuries in South Africa, with James Anderson, Jack Leach and Rory Burns having all returned to England, while paceman Jofra Archer missed the last two Tests with an elbow issue.

Given the circumstances, Root says beating the Proteas in their own backyard would probably go down as his most satisfying accomplishment since taking over as skipper almost three years ago.

"It's been a tour that has thrown everything at us," Root told reporters. "But the whole squad, the players and the coaching staff, have worked tirelessly to make sure we stayed calm and as in control as we could.

"When we've had our opportunities to bounce back, we've really taken them. It's been really pleasing in many ways.

"We're a very young side at the start of something and we've seen some very promising performances. To win three Tests in a row would be a very big achievement for this group.

"A series win here probably would be my proudest achievement as captain, because of the different things we've had to manage throughout this tour.

"We've had injuries and senior players having to fly home and a lot of illness to deal with and we have adapted to very different conditions.

"For a young group of players that has been very pleasing and a sign we're doing the right things. If we can harness that and keep looking to improve then I do think the sky's the limit for this team.

"But we're very much at the start of something here and we're not perfect by any means. We have to keep that attitude and keep driving that forward for a long period of time if we want to get to number one in the world."

Mark Wood came into the side for the third Test and it remains to be seen if he will be able to play back-to-back matches with Archer pushing for a recall.

"It would be nice to see how Archer and Wood go together," Root said.

"It would be a relentless barrage of pace. It would be great to have that extra bit of pace and firepower, but ultimately we've got to hit the right areas as we have done in the last couple of games."

Temba Bavuma will replace Zubayr Hamza in the South Africa side for the final Test against England at the Wanderers, which starts on Friday.

Bavuma has not played for the Proteas since a crushing defeat in the third Test against India in Ranchi last October.

The diminutive batsman was dropped from the squad after being omitted for the first Test against England, and he was challenged to go away and make first-class runs for the Lions.

Bavuma responded by making a career-best 180 against the Dolphins last week and will feature in Johannesburg at the expense of Hamza as South Africa strive to salvage a 2-2 series draw.

Rassie van der Dussen will move up the order to number three in the absence of Hamza, who has made only 39 across five innings since scoring 39 in the first innings of the first Test at Centurion.

South Africa captain Faf du Plessis told reporters on Thursday: "I can tell you that Temba is back in the side.

"The rest, we are still waiting to see what the weather does tomorrow. We don't have 100 per cent clarity on that yet, but that is the one thing that is definite."

A player who will definitely not feature in the fourth Test is Kagiso Rabada. The paceman serves a one-match ban for the excessive celebration of Joe Root's wicket in the third Test that earned him a fourth demerit point.

Graeme Smith plans to have a "robust discussion" with Faf du Plessis on his future after the Test series against England.

Cricket South Africa on Tuesday announced Quinton de Kock had replaced Du Plessis as ODI captain ahead of the series against the world champions.

Du Plessis stated the fourth Test against England at the Wanderers, which starts on Friday, could be his last appearance in the longest format on home soil, revealing he may quit after facing West Indies in July and August.

The batsman had earlier outlined his desire to remain Proteas captain until the T20 World Cup in Australia in October, and Smith wants some clarity over Du Plessis' plans.

Interim South Africa director of cricket Smith said of the decision to appoint De Kock as ODI captain: "We see Faf playing a role as a player but from a leadership perspective, we felt the need to move on.

"Faf doesn't see himself being around in 2023. Leadership has been an issue of late in South African cricket and we have made the decision to give Quinny an opportunity.

"We feel tactically he is good, there are areas of his leadership that we all know we need to grow and develop but he is the right guy at this stage to take the one-day side forward."

The former Proteas skipper added: "With the World Cup around the corner, we need to go forward.

"At the moment Faf is in that position but I need to sit with him post this Test series. He has got a bit of time because he is being rested from the one-day series, so we will have some time to have a robust discussion on his future.

"He is the South African Test captain. The next Test match we play after this series will be in the Caribbean - there is an extensive amount of time. I need to understand how he sees his future in the game."

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