Crescent Kashmir

New Zealand pip Afghanistan in low-scoring thriller

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New Zealand vs Afghanistan

In what was arguably the game of the tournament so far, New Zealand scrapped past Afghanistan with a one-wicket win in their U19 World Cup encounter at Buffalo Park in East London on Tuesday (January 23). It didn’t seem like the game would end up this way at the halfway mark. Opting to bat, Afghanistan were blown away for 91 by New Zealand’s quicks led by Matt Rowe, who registered impressive figures of 5/21. He was ably supported by the other bowlers and the Black Caps ensured that only two Afghanistan batters got to double digits.

New Zealand would have expected the chase to be a stroll but Allah Ghazanfar struck thrice early on, all batters for ducks, with the score reading 23/3. It soon became 23/4 as Khalil Ahmed got into the act by removing Robbie Foulkes. Afghanistan kept chipping away at the wickets as only skipper Oscar Jackson and Lachlan Stackpole got to double figures for New Zealand. But they couldn’t see the game through and it eventually needed Rowe to hit the winning runs, having walked in with two needed with one wicket in hand. Afghanistan will rue the 24 extras they conceded, although New Zealand did concede 25 too.

Brief scores: Afghanistan 91 in 21.3 overs (Matt Rowe 5-21, Ewald Schreuder 2-15) lost to New Zealand 92/9 in 28.2 overs (Oscar Jackson 26; Allah Ghazanfar 3-29, Arab Gul Momand 2-12) by one wicket

South Africa vs England

A strong bowling performance led by Eddie Jack (3/28) and a solid fifty from Noah Thain enabled England to beat South Africa by 36 runs (DLS method) in a game that ended prematurely due to rain. Put into bat, South Africa started with a bang, racking up 67 runs in the first ten overs on a good batting surface and looked set for a big total. However, Jack got into the act by breaking the opening stand and along with off spinner Tazeem Ali (3/26) triggered a mini-collapse. South Africa slipped from 111/2 to 114/5 in the space of just 15 deliveries. Dewan Marais’s aggressive cameo along with some lower order contributions ensured that the tournament hosts got to a respectable but under par score.

England did lose Jaydn Denly early in the run chase but Thain along with skipper Ben McKinney put on a 92-run stand to get the innings going. Neither batter was overly aggressive but went about things in calculative fashion. McKinney fell just short of a deserving fifty but Hamza Shaikh stitched a useful little stand with Thain before the rains came in to have the final say, with England comfortably ahead on the DLS method. South Africa’s bowlers tried hard but couldn’t exert enough pressure and they couldn’t be faulted too much as the total to defend was below par.

Brief scores: South Africa 230 in 49.2 overs (Steve Solk 64, Dewan Marais 42; Tazeem Ali 3-26, Eddie Jack 3-28) lost to England 137/2 in 28.3 overs (Noah Thain 63*, Ben McKinney 48) by 36 runs (DLS method)

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