Australia U19s edge out NZ tense finish

The New Zealand Under 19 side missed out on a place in the final of the quadrangular series after narrowly losing to Australia by four wickets at Endeavour Park, Townsville.

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Chasing Australia’s 285 for nine New Zealand managed 281 for nine with a tense final over leaving the visitors just five runs short of victory.

New Zealand needed ten runs off six balls but great bowling from Gurinder Sandhu and accurate fielding saw them lose three wickets and score only five runs to leave them just short.

Joe Carter hit 77 at the top of the order to get the New Zealand pursuit off to a solid start while number three batsman Will Young struck 58.

The Australian bowlers fought back through the middle stages, keeping New Zealand tied down before Cam Fletcher and Connor Neynens fought back.

Neynens smashed a quick 33 off 27 balls to wrestle back some momentum while Fletcher ensured his team remained in the contest with are fighting 41 before being run out with two balls to spare. 

New ball bowler Sandhu was the best for the home side taking three for 50 while spinner Ashton Agar returned two for 55.

Earlier, Australia were given a solid start by James Peirson (54) and Kurtis Patterson (76) who put on 63 runs for the second wicket before Patterson combined with Meyrick Buchanan (38) to add 96 for the fourth wicket.

The New Zealand bowling attack then looked to be on top after a series cheap wicket only to bring Patrick Cummins, batting at nine, to the crease.  The powerful batsman struck four boundaries and three sixes on his way to an unbeaten 50 of 24 deliveries.

Spinner Ish Sodhi was the most impressive of the New Zealand attack with four for 41 with fast bowler Jacob Duffy taking three for 44.

New Zealand will face England in a playoff for third on Sunday after they lost the other semi-final to India by 63 runs.



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