Tim Southee starred as New Zealand’s Under-19s emulated the BLACKCAPS to record a memorable run chase victory at the ICC World Cup Plate Championship.
Following the senior side’s lead, the young Kiwis hit over 300 in reply to Ireland’s first innings to complete a three-wicket quarter final victory in Colombo.
Both teams had failed to reach the Super League quarter-finals of the competition, but put on a tremendous display at the R.Premadasa Stadium.
And Southee, the Northern Districts tail-ender, stole the show with a blazing display of hitting that saw his side pull off an improbable run-chase.
Southee smashed 92 from just 55 balls as New Zealand, at one stage 150-4 in pursuit of 305, eventually triumphed by three wickets with five balls to spare.
His innings trumped a brilliant hundred by Ireland captain Eoin Morgan, whose 124 was the basis of his side’s 304-9, their highest ever total against an ICC Full Member, beating the 291-9 they made against Australia in Bangladesh two years ago.
New Zealand’s win means they now face the USA in the Plate Championship semi-final overnight, while Ireland, still searching for their first win of the tournament, play Namibia in the Plate Championship play-off.
Southee was originally set to bat at number nine but with New Zealand short of momentum he was pushed up the order to number six and responding with a ferocious display of hitting.
He hammered six sixes and four fours as New Zealand ended the day with a triumphant win.
Southee added 95 with Andrew de Boorder (87) and then a further 43 in rapid time with Keiran Noema-Barnett (22) and by the time he was dismissed the target was in range.
“The coach told me to put the pads on and I was bit nervous,” said Southee afterwards of his promotion in the order.
“I went out and played a few dot balls but then I got a couple in the middle of the bat and took it from there.”
New Zealand looked out of contention before Southee’s intervention but for Ireland it was a case of what might have been.
After posting that excellent total they had chances to close the match out but failed to see it through.
Those chances included a straightforward stumping chance to Fintan McAllister offered by de Boorder (103 balls, six fours) and in the end it was those offerings that proved the difference between success and failure for Ireland.
Morgan played beautifully in two excellent stands that set the foundation for Ireland’s big score.
First he added 88 for the second wicket with McAllister (44) then he added 160 for the fourth wicket, the highest stand of the tournament so far, with Andrew Poynter (76).
Morgan’s effort was an outstanding one given the sapping heat but despite those unfamiliar conditions he battled away for 199 minutes, faced 126 balls and hit 12 fours and three sixes.
It was his second hundred in an ICC U/19 Cricket World Cup after scoring 117 against Uganda in the previous tournament, in Bangladesh in 2004.
Poynter hammered eight fours in an 85-ball innings that complimented Morgan’s effort perfectly.
New Zealand’s bowlers struggled, but super sub Hamish Bennett was the exception. Drafted in for the 16th over, he responded with 4-31.
Ironically Southee was one of those bowlers, returning the expensive figures of 1-71, while Dean Bartlett (1-25), Roneel Hira (1-42), Martin Guptill (1-54) and Jason Donnelly (1-43) were the other wicket-takers.
The side’s second victory of the tournament acted as some consolation for defeats to Bangladesh and Pakistan which meant they failed to qualify for the Super League for the first time ever.
But should they defeat Larry Gomes’ Americans, Dipak Patel’s squad could yet still return home with some silverware.
New Zealand v Ireland
ICC Under-19 World Cup Plate quarter-final R.Premadasa Stadium
Ireland 304-9 (50 overs, E.Morgan 124, A.Poynter 76) lost to New Zealand (305-7, 49.1 overs, Southee 92, de Boorder 87) by three wickets.