Dubai: England crushed New Zealand by 115 runs to reach the quarter-finals of the Under-19 Cricket World Cup at the Dubai International Cricket Council grounds on Tuesday.
New Zealand restricted England to 229 for eight, but England bowlers, led my Matthew Fisher, struck back to register a big win. The medium-pacer took three wickets, backed by Jack Winslade, Rob Sayer and Rob Jones with two wickets each, to dismiss the Kiwis for a paltry 114 in 36.1 overs.
Except for New Zealand’s Sri Lanka-born opener Raki Weerasundara, who hit 41 and South Africa-born Shawn Hick (21), none of the other batsmen rose to the challenge.
Speaking to Gulf News, John Abrahams, the manager of the England team, said: “It was a very good performance from the boys. They all did exactly what they should do and executed their game plan very well. Though we lost in a close game to Sri Lanka, we had not lost our confidence. We will carry our confidence into the quarter-finals.”
England, electing to bat first after winning the toss, lost their opener Dominic Sibley for 2. Opener Harry Finch and Ryan Higgins took the score to 70 in 22.2 overs before Jeremy Benton bowled Finch for 30. Next batsman Jonathan Tattersall was trapped leg before by off-spinner Dane Watson for 12. To make matters worse, Ed Barnard got run out for a duck. England’s one-drop batsman Higgins played a stubborn knock to score 83. Willy Rhodes and Joe Clarke chipped in with 31 and 33 respectively to swell England’s total.
New Zealand kept losing wickets at regular intervals regularly during the chase. Fisher, who plays for Yorkshire, bowled a deadly opening spell to trap opener Tim Seifert leg before for a duck, bowled Ken McClure for three and also took the prize wicket of skipper Robert O’Donnell, caught behind for one. New Zealand never recovered from the spell though Weerasundara kept the scoreboard moving with his knock of 41 off 62 balls with four boundaries.
England beat New Zealand by 115 runs. England 229 for 8 in 50 overs (Harry Finch 30, Ryan Higgins 83, Will Rhodes 31, Joe Clarke 33, Brett Randell 3 for 57) New Zealand 114 in 36.1 overs (Raki Weerasundara 41, Shawn Hicks 21, Matthew Fisher 3 for 18 , Jack Winslade 2 for 23 , Rob Sayer 2 for 21, Rob Jones 2 for 33). Player of the match: Matthew Fisher.