Round 4: NZ 9/225 (50 overs) defeated Australia 9/201 (50 overs) by 24 runs
New Zealand have recorded their first win of the U19 International Series, beating Australia by 24 runs at Marrara Oval in Darwin today.
In the end, New Zealand's total of 9/225 proved too much for the Australians to chase down, finishing at 9/201 from their 50 overs in this Round 4 match.
The Aussies looked promising with the ball early after losing the toss, but their economical start was wasted as edges went missing and poor fielding let the Kiwis get their eye in. NZ opener and Player of the Match Rakitha Weerasundara capitalised on a number of dropped catches on his way to 75 runs and a few lower-order cameos saw the New Zealanders to a defendable total.
Cam Valente was the pick of the Aussie bowlers with 4/41 from his 10 overs, while Matt Kelly (2/33), Matt Fotia (1/54), Riley Ayre (1/28) and Gabe Bell (1/54) also chipped in.
Australia would have been disappointed to let NZ off the hook, which proved costly in the end.
The Aussies needed to bat well in reply, but New Zealand’s bowlers snared wickets before any batsman could convert his start. A fourth-wicket partnership between Ben McDermott (41) and captain Alex Gregory (26) gave the Aussies some hope, but New Zealand's bowlers continued to strangle the scoring. Jake Doran was again the star for the Aussie bats with a run-a-ball 54 in the middle order, but by then the run-rate was too great.
Doran's not out efforts ensured NZ didn't earn any bonus points, so Australia still sit second on the U19 International Series points table, only ahead of third-placed NZ by a superior quotient.
Next Friday’s U19 International Series final comes down to who can perform best against India during the coming week. Australia will have the first opportunity on Monday, 8 July at Marrara Oval.
U19 International Series match reports, fixtures 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 06 July, 2013 7:03PM AEST