The Australia Under-19 team took a one-nil lead in their three match One Day series against the New Zealand Under-19 team at Bert Sutcliffe Oval in Lincoln, claiming a comfortable seven wicket victory.
New Zealand were dismissed for 182 after 46.2 overs, with half-centuries from Shawn Hicks (52) and Ken McClure (54) providing the majority of the runs. That total was then overhauled by their Trans-Tasman rivals, mainly thanks to a 116 run fourth wicket partnership between Damien Mortimer and Jake Doran.
Defending a score of under 200 was a tough ask for the home side, but when they picked up their third wicket in Ben McDermott (10) they were in with a chance having reduced Australia to 67 for three.
Unfortunately though that was the last inroad they made, with Mortimer and Doran taking control and leading their side to victory after 37.1 overs. Both bought up half centuries, with Mortimer making 87 from 126 balls and Doran’s knock of 53 coming at a run a ball.
Kyle Jamieson (one for 30) and Dane Watson (one for 49) picked up the wickets for New Zealand, while Watson also effected a run-out.
Earlier, wickets at the start of the New Zealand innings had slowed the run-rate somewhat and put the Kiwis under pressure from the get-go. Hicks and McClure steadied the ship somewhat with a 79 run stand for the fourth wicket, before the former was trapped lbw in the 28th over.
When McClure fell four runs after bringing up his 50, the New Zealand middle and lower order fell began to fall quickly. Number six Arana Noema-Barnett was the one exception, making 28 from 44 balls, before being the penultimate wicket to fall in the 45th over.
Australia’s Matthew Fotia was the chief wicket-taker and claimed figures of four for 44 from ten overs, while Thomas Andrews and Guy Walker claimed two wickets apiece.
The teams will meet for the second One Day match on Saturday, before their third and final encounter on Monday.