ICC U-19 World Cup: Host remains unbeaten with win over SA

New Zealand registers its third win in a row; Ireland beats Afghanistan.

New Zealand’s Jacob Bhula chipped in with a knock of 44 and two wickets.   -  ICC (File Photo)

Rachin Ravindra contributed with bat and ball to hand New Zealand a 71-run win over South Africa in a Group A contest of the U-19 World Cup in Mount Maunganui on Saturday. The victory is the host’s third in three games, meaning it moves into the knockout stages of the tourney unbeaten.

Its openers started well after it chose to bat. Jacob Bhula and Ravindra put on 108 for the first wicket, before quick wickets in the middle of the innings threatened to undo all the good work. From 144 for 1, New Zealand stumbled to 169 for 5. Lower order batsmen Dale Phillips and Max Chu revived the innings with a partnership of 77 that took their team past 250.

The eight wickets taken were shared around, with Kgaudisa Molefe (2 for 49) the only bowler having taken more than a solitary wicket.

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Middle-order batsman Hermann Rolfes scored a century (108, 124b, 12X4) for South Africa in its chase of 280, but found little support from anyone else besides Jean du Plessis (54, 54b, 5X4). Medium-fast bowler Matthew Fisher made the early dent to South Africa’s innings before the 106-run partnership between Rolfes and du Plessis that restored parity. However, spinner Ravindra and Bhula ran through the rest of the line-up after the nagging stand was broken by the economical left-arm spinner Ben Lockrose.

South Africa’s loss was its first in three games; the two teams assumed the top two positions in the Group A table.

Four-run win

In a Group D match, Harry Tector displayed an all-round show to help Ireland pip Afghanistan by four runs in Whangarei. Chasing Ireland’s 225 for 8, Afghanistan was bowled out for 221, with Tector, the captain, taking three wickets with his off-spin bowling. A number of batsmen from both teams generated starts but none of them went past 37, such was the nature of the contest in which wickets were never far away.

Hector contributed with 36 at No. 4; only lower-order batsman Graham Kennedy (37) outscored him. Fast-medium bowler Wafadar and leg-spinner Qais Ahmed were the chief wicket-takers for Afghanistan, with three scalps each.

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Afghanistan similarly stumbled when it was its turn to bat. Nine players registered double figures but none went past 34. Tector and left-arm seamer Joshua Little accounted for five wickets. Needing seven runs to win from the final over, and with a wicket remaining, Afghanistan received a couple of runs via extras (a wide and a no-ball) before the final wicket was taken.

The result didn’t make much of a difference in the larger scheme of things, though, as Afghanistan held on to its No. 2 spot in the Group D table, thereby assured of a place in the knockouts. Ireland’s solitary win of the competition so far didn’t lift it from the bottom spot.

WI, Eng win

Defending champion West Indies and Kenya played out a contrasting game in Lincoln. The one-sided contest was won by West Indies by 222 runs. West Indies, batting first, scored 318 for 7, riding on Alick Athanaze’s unbeaten 116 (93b, 15X4, 1X6) and half-centuries from Kimani Melius (60, 45b, 11X4, 1X6) and lower-order batsman Nayeem Young (54, 45, 3x4, 3x6). In reply, Kenya was bowled out for 96. Left-arm spinner Jeavor Royal (4 for 25) and Bhaskar Yadram (5 for 18) shared nine of the 10 wickets to fall.

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The win was West Indies’ first of the competition.

England churned out a similarly comprehensive routing of its opponent on Saturday, defeating Canada by 282 runs in Queenstown. Opener Liam Banks (120, 114b, 12X4, 1X6) and Will Jacks (102, 82b, 11X4) put on a 186-run partnership for the second wicket to lay the foundation for England’s sizeable total of 383 for 7. Wicket-keeper Jack Davies chipped in with a quickfire half-century.

Canada, in reply, faltered and was bowled out for 101. The wickets were shared around, with left-arm spinner Prem Sisodiya registering the most successful figures of 3 for 23 off his 10 overs.

Brief Scores
  • New Zealand 279 for 8 in 50 overs (Ravindra 76, Bhula 44, Phillips 43; Molefe 2 for 49) beat South Africa 208 in 46.2 overs (Rolfes 108, du Plessis 54; Ravindra 4 for 32) by 71 runs.
  • Ireland 225 for 8 in 50 overs (Kennedy 37, Tector 36; Qais Ahmed 3 for 32, Wafadar 3 for 50) beat Afghanistan 221 in 49.2 overs (Shah 34, Stanikzai 33; Tector 3 for 37) by four runs.
  • West Indies 318 for 7 in 50 overs (Athanaze 116, Melius 60, Young 57; Desai 3 for 54) beat Kenya 96 in 24.4 overs (Gandhi 37; Yadram 5 for 18, Royal 4 for 25) by 222 runs.
  • England 383 for 7 in 50 overs (Banks 120, Jacks 102, Davies 57; Jamkhandi 3 for 68, Pretorius 3 for 69) beat Canada 101 in 31.5 overs (Sharma 24; Sisodiya 3 for 23) by 282 runs.

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