The Australian Under-19 top-order wrapped up the One Day series against the New Zealand Under-19s at Bert Sutcliffe Oval in Lincoln today , claiming an eight wicket victory to take an unassailable two-nil lead.
Having been put into bat first, New Zealand started strongly and behind a top score of 86 from Henry Collier made 240 for eight from their 50 overs. Australia’s top four though all made significant contributions and surpassed that total after 44.5 overs.
An opening stand of 109 between Damien Mortimer (40) and Matthew Short (73) put the visitors’ pursuit on track early on and they maintained that momentum throughout the innings. Short was particularly dynamic, with his 73 coming from just 60 balls.
He finally succumbed in the 26th over to leave Australia 142 for two, but the new pairing of Sean Willis (68*) and Kelvin Smith (54*) were just as effective and played with impressive controlled aggression to knock off the remaining required runs.
Both found the gaps in the field consistently and were busy between the wickets. Willis hit a couple of crisp sixes and four fours, while Smith’s innings was highlighted by eight fours.
Earlier, the New Zealand opening pair of Rakitha Weerasundara and Henry Collier had put their team on track to an imposing total, with a 76 run first wicket partnership. Weerasundara (36) was the first to depart when he got an edge in the 16th over.
After two further wickets, Collier found another helping hand in Ken McClure. Together they took New Zealand through to 189 for three, before McClure was dismissed for 41. Unfortunately Collier went not long after for 86 (133 balls), but his measured knock had assured New Zealand a total in excess of 200.
Unfortunately wickets began to tumble regularly in the final ten overs and the home side failed to take full advantage of the platform which they’d earlier set. Arana Noema-Barnett (25) and Kurtley Watson (15*) were the two exceptions, both finding the boundary late on to push the total to 240.
Australia’s Matthew Fotia backed up his four wicket-bag in the first match with three scalps today, while Guy Walker also picked up three wickets.
The third One Day match is played on Monday and is the final encounter of the series.