Australia 6/225 (50 overs) defeated NZ 206 (49.2 overs)
An impressive 5-wicket haul for Australian U19 fast bowler Matt Fotia has seen Australia off to a flying start in the U19 International Series with a win against New Zealand at Marrara Oval in Darwin today.
Perhaps drawing inspiration from the recent Australian fast bowling efforts in the UK Ashes tour matches, Australia’s U19 bowlers built up pressure and snatched five wickets in five overs to win the game.
New Zealand had been cruising in their chase of Australia’s earlier total of 225 from 50 overs but fell 19 runs short thanks to tight bowling by Fotia (5/38). Cam Valente (2/30), Riley Ayre (1/30), Jeremy Maher (1/27) and Jake Doran (1/5) also chipped in.
Earlier in the day, starts from Matt Short (37) and Tom Leaver (31) at the top of the order got Australia off to a promising start, but New Zealand reeled the Aussies in with three quick wickets.
Jake Doran steadied the middle order with a superb 79 not out from 80 balls (including 5x4s and 1x6) and put together a valuable 90-run partnership with Ben McDermott (36) to see Australia reach 6/225 from their 50 overs.
Speaking after the game, Matt Fotia said the Australians were confident they could successfully defend their score.
“The pitch was a bit two-paced, especially early on with the new ball, so I thought as long as we bowled well, we could defend 225 pretty easily.
“We tried to bowl as many back-to-back dot balls as possible to build the pressure and bring the run-rate up to a run a ball. And then, once we got there, pushing it higher and higher and that caused wickets to tumble and they fell in a heap as the run-rate sky-rocketed.
“It felt pretty good taking five-for Australia, pretty surreal. Hopefully the win gives us confidence going into our next match,” he said.
Fotia was part of a recently-returned squad of six players who spent a fortnight working with Glenn McGrath at his MRF Pace Foundation academy in Chennai and said the experienced had been invaluable.
“It was pretty surreal just to meet Glenn McGrath. He was helping us with how to get batsmen out and thinking about the game itself and little tricks he used to get batsmen out. Just little things like listening to a song before you go out onto the field, have things that click you into rhythm,” Fotia said.
Australia will next play India at Marrara Oval in Darwin next Tuesday, 2 July.
In today’s other Round 1 match of the U19 International Series, India (136) comprehensively defeated Papua New Guinea (65) at Tracy Village in Darwin.
PNG bowler Sakavai Charlie Gebai (4/26) restricted India to 136 all out from 43.1 overs, with Indian opener and captain Vijay Zol top scoring with 48 runs.
In reply, PNG were no match with the bat against the experienced Indian outfit. Kuldeep Yadav took 4/13 as PNG were all out for 65 from 36.5 overs.
U19 International Series results and points table can be found here
The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia
First Posted 30 June, 2013 7:14PM AEST