India U-19s edge out NZ

 The New Zealand Under-19 cricket team have been knocked out of ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup in Australia with a nine run loss to India.

Playing at Tony Ireland Stadium in Townsville, New Zealand in the end fell just short of India’s first innings total of 209.  

In an almost identical scenario to their quarter-final, New Zealand required 18 off the last over, but sadly were unable to produce the magic they had against the West Indies.

New Zealand had begun their pursuit well, with Joe Carter (30) and Ben Horne (10) leading their side to 53 for one in the 16th over.

However when Horne, Carter and captain Will Young all went in quick succession New Zealand found themselves in an ominous position at 63 for four.

A fifth wicket partnership of 56 between Robert O’Donnell (29) and Cameron Fletcher (53) resurrected their side’s hopes, but the required run-rate began to climb. With under seven overs remaining O’Donnell tried to find the boundary, but could only manage to scoop it back into the hands of bowler Baba Aparajith.

The equation continued to get harder for New Zealand, with wickets tumbling at regular intervals. Connor Neyens made 13, while last matches hero Ish Sodhi was dismissed for three.

Some impressive late hitting from number nine Jacob Duffy (21*) kept them in the hunt right until the last over, but with 12 needed off the final two deliveries New Zealand could only manage a pair of singles.

Harmeet Singh finished with bowling figures of two for 30 from ten overs, while Sandeep Singh also grabbed two wickets off his ten overs for 36.

Earlier, the Indian openers had made a strong start when put in to bat, steering their side to 51 without loss. Captain Unmukt Chand was the first to go when Connor Neynens had him clean bowled for 31.

Aparajith replaced him at the crease and alongside opener Prashant Chopra led India into a strong position.

It took a spectacular piece of fielding from the skipper Young to end the 81 run partnership, with a diving one hand catch at wide mid-on seeing the end of Chopra for 52 in the 34th over. It had come at a crucial time, with India having been on top at 132 for one.

That dismissal was quickly followed by two more and India were 139 for four. New Zealand though were unable to take advantage of that momentum, as the middle-order ensured India would surpass the 200 mark.

Some last wickets stemmed their run flow and at the end of 50 overs India finished with a total of 209 for nine.

Part time bowler Ben Horne was the pick of the bowlers for New Zealand, collecting figures of three for 28 from six overs.
Matthew Quinn was next best with two for 36 in his ten overs.

New Zealand will now face South Africa in the race for third and fourth at Endeavour Park on Saturday, while India will meet Australia at Tony Ireland Stadium in the final on Sunday.

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