New Zealand’s bowlers removed Afghanistan’s resistive lower-order to seal a thrilling nine-run win in the U19 World Cup taking them to second in Group B, behind Pakistan, on run-rate.
New Zealand slumped to 20 for three in the eighth over after opting to bat but Robert O’Donnell and Henry Walsh provided solidarity as both stroked half-centuries to bring their team back on track, sharing a 108-run partnership for the fourth wicket.
Yamin Ahmadzai dismissed Walsh to pick up his first of the match before New Zealand lost wickets in a heap as Ahmadzai and Shirzad ran through their batting to restrict them to 198.
Afghanistan’s chase started disastrously as they were reduced to 26 for five.
However, the lower-order showed resistance as Najibullah Zadran was involved in two half-century stands for the sixth and seventh wickets.
Afsar Khan held firm as the minnows approached the target, needing 22 off the last two overs with three wickets in hand before falling agonisingly short of the target.
In other matches yesterday, Quinton De Kock and Chad Bowes shared a massive 212-run opening partnership to set up South Africa’s 209-run win over Namibia. Australia overpowered Ireland by six wickets and India beat Zimbabwe by 63 runs.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 15th, 2012.
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