It was the second quarter-final match in the ongoing U19 World Cup held between New Zealand and West Indies at Willowmoore Park in South Africa on Wednesday.
Chasing the target of 239 was always going to be difficult for the ‘Boys in Black’ as they kept on losing wickets at regular intervals, but a stunning 86-run 9th wicket partnership between Kristian Clarke and Joey Field led New Zealand to seal their place in the Semi-finals.
At one stage, New Zealand were 153-8, and from there they ended up reaching the target of 239.
It was undoubtedly a fantastic performance from the batters down the order. Clarke, the No.10 batsman, smashed the highest score (46 not out) at this position in the history of U19 World Cup.
INCREDIBLE FROM NEW ZEALAND!
They looked dead and buried at 153/8, but they have secured a stunning victory to secure their place in the Super League semi-finals 💪
— Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) January 29, 2020
Earlier, New Zealand bowlers exhibited fine bowling and struck two Caribbean wickets for just 32. Then the duo of Kelvon Anderson and Kirk McKenzie took up the responsibility to take their side out of early trouble. Both the batsmen added a crucial stand of 78 runs before Simon Keene bowled Anderson.
McKenzie, on the other hand, stood firmly at one end and kept on scoring runs. He further added a 73-run stand with Antonio Morris, who was dismissed for 31. McKenzie, meanwhile, missed out on scoring a ton by just one run.
Clarke, the hero from the bat, also took the maximum wickets for his side. In 7.5 overs, the right-armer scalped four wickets. Joey Field and skipper Jesse Tashkoff also joined the party and claimed two wickets each.
In the end, New Zealand defeated the West Indies by two wickets. Clarke, for his unreal all-round performance, got rewarded with the ‘Player of the Match’ award. The Blackcaps will now face the winner of the Bangladesh vs. South Africa game in the semi-finals.