Host country New Zealand is in good form heading into this week’s quarter-finals of the U19 Cricket World Cup.
The Junior Black Caps topped their pool with three convincing wins over defending champions West Indies, Kenya and South Africa.
On Sunday at Tauranga they swept aside South Africa with a convincing 71-run win.
Rachin Ravindra (formerly Hutt International Boys’ School) produced a Player of the Match performance against the highly ranked South Africans, scoring 76 off 89 and then taking 4 for 32 with the ball. Jacob Bhula (Welllington College) scored 44 and Dale Phillips (Pakuranga College) 43 in their score of 279 for 8. As well as Ravindra, Bhula and Matthew Fisher (St Paul’s Collegiate) snared 2 wickets apiece as South Africa fell to be all out for 208.
Earlier in the tournament, New Zealand opening proceedings by beating defending champions the West Indies by 8 wickets. Left arm spinner Ravindra took 3 for 30, Fisher took 3 for 61 and Felix Murray (Nelson College) 2 for 37. Finn Allen struck 115 off 100 balls and Bhula 83 off 105 as the home side chased down 234 with over 10 overs to spare.
In their second match, they crushed Kenya by 243 runs. Batting first, they scored 436 for 4, with opener Bhula stroking 180 off 144, Ravindra 117 off 101 and Allen smoking 90 off 40 which included six of the best that cleared the boundary rope (batting scorecard above) In reply, the Kenyan contenders batted their full 50 overs and ended on 193 for 4, Ravindra taking 2 for 33.
The Junior Black Caps meet Afghanistan in their quarter-final on Thursday, while South Africa will play Pakistan on Wednesday.
Representing a cricketing country on the rise, explosive Afghani batsman Darwish Rasooli will be one for the home team to watch. With a fine swish of the blade, Rasooli stroked an unbeaten 76 over Pakistan and 63 against Sri Lanka to relegate the island nation to third in their group.
In the other quarter-finals, India plays Bangladesh and Australia faces England.
Sixteen of the world’s best U19 countries are currently in New Zealand for the tournament.
U19 Cricket World Cup top 8 match ups:
England v Australia, Tuesday in Queenstown
Pakistan v South Africa, Wednesday in Christchurch
New Zealand v Afghanistan, Thursday in Christchurch
India v Bangladesh, Friday in Queenstown
The New Zealand squad is:
Kaylum Boshier (Captain, New Plymouth Boys' High School)
Finn Allen (Saint Kentigern College)
Jakob Bhula (Wellington College)
Max Chu (Otago Boys’ High School)
Katene Clarke (Mount Albert Grammar School)
Matthew Fisher (St Paul’s Collegiate)
Luke Georgeson (St Pat’s Town)
Ben Lockrose (Otago Boys’ High School)
Callum McLachlan (Hutt International Boys’ School)
Felix Murray (Nelson College)
Sandeep Patel (Saint Kentigern College)
Dale Phillips (Pakuranga College)
Rachin Ravindra (Hutt International Boys’ School)
Connor Sullivan (St Bede’s College)
Todd Watson (Napier Boys’ High School)
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