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O’Donnell ton sinks UAE hopes

Sharjah: Hosts UAE bowed before the might of New Zealand in their second match of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Under-19 World Cup match at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.

New Zealand skipper Robert O’Donnell cracked a sparkling unbeaten 107 runs, off just 117 balls (six boundaries and four sixes), and backed by Shawn Hick’s 70 off 85 balls, ensured their team a whopping 281 for five in 50 overs.

O’Donnell, who arrived here after cracking a brilliant 80 runs against Mahendra Singh Dhoni lead Indian senior team in the tour match at Whangarei, carried his form into the match. With Hick, he put on 145 runs for the fourth wicket to steer his team to a strong position.

Chasing the huge total, UAE could muster only 169 runs in 49.4 overs against the tight bowling attack groomed by former ICC Academy coach Dayle Hadlee. For UAE, Chirag Suri cracked a fighting 57 off 77 balls with six boundaries, but his effort went in vain.

“It is an awesome feeling to get a century in World Cup. It was a very different experience for me especially to score runs against the spinners on a wicket different from our country,” O’Donnell said.

For New Zealand, Jack Hunter took three wickets to defuse Suri’s fighting knock. Speaking about his half century, Suri said: “It’s a great feeling to get a half century against a Test playing nation. It was sort of different role for me today as I batted in the middle order instead my usual role as opener.

“Spinners were in action when I went out to bat and I told myself to stay on. New Zealand bowlers hit the right spot backed by excellent fielding and hence it was a great challenge to score runs.”

UAE started off well despite losing the toss by claiming New Zealand’s first three wickets quickly. Omar Mahmoud had opener Tim Seifert caught behind by wicketkeeper Shivank Vijayakumar for seven while Moaaz Qazi had one-drop batsman Ken McClure caught behind, also for seven runs. O’Donnell, who joined opener Raki Weerasundara, took the score to 50 when Qazi had Weerasundara caught behind for 33. Hick and O’Donnell then took the match away through the huge partnership.

The hosts got off to a poor start with Hunter dismissing opener Vijayakumar and Shorye Chopra cheaply. Shahrukh Ahmad kept the score board moving but fell for 27; Dan D’Souza too followed, caught and bowled by Jeremy Benton for 16. Except Suri and Qazi (23), the rest of the batsmen failed to rise to the New Zealand attack.

At the Dubai International Stadium, Sri Lanka scored an exciting one wicket win over England. Through Jonathan Tattersall’s 95 runs, England posted 230 for 9. Sri Lanka chased it through opener Sadeera Samarawickrama’s 82 runs. At one stage Sri Lanka were 213 for 8 but won with seven balls to spare.

Brief scores

New Zealand bt UAE by 112 runs. New Zealand 281 for 5 in 50 overs (Raki Weerasundara 33, Robert O’Donnell 107n.o, Shawn Hicks 70, Leo Carter 48, Pankaj Prakash 2 for 70, Moaaz Qazi 2 for 50) UAE 169 in 49.4 overs (Shahrukh Ahmad 27, Chirag Suri 57, Moaaz Qazi 23, Jack Hunter 3 for 32, Dane Watson 2 for 2 for 36, Jeremy Benton 2 for 16). Player of the match: Robert O’Donnell.

Sri Lanka bt England by one wicket. England 230 for 9 in 50 overs (Harry Finch 24, Jonathan Tattersall 95, Will Rhodes 38, Binura Fernando 2 for 61, Anuk Fernando 3 for 49, Harsha Rajapaksha 2 for 35) Sri Lanka 231 for 9 in 48.5 overs (Sadeera Samarawickrama 82, Priyamal Perera 22, Thilaksha Sumanasiri 43, AK Tyronne 20, Josh Shaw 2 for 38, Will Rhodes 2 for 45, Rob Sayer 2 for 33). Player of the match: Sadeera Samarawickrama.