Captain Robert O’Donnell has scored an unbeaten half-century to lead New Zealand past Papua New Guinea by six wickets in the ninth-place playoff quarter-final at the ICC Under-19 World Cup in Dubai.
New Zealand were set a target of 187 to win by Papua New Guinea, but strong performances with the bat from O’Donnell (57*) and Ken McClure (51) saw the kiwis to victory with 22 balls to spare.
Henry Collier (33) and McClure had given New Zealand a great start, elevating their side to 100 for one. However, both batsmen fell in quick succession, leaving New Zealand in need of another strong partnership.
The skipper came to the rescue, plundering seven fours and a six and putting on an unbeaten 46 run stand with Leo Carter (8*) to see out the final runs.
Papau New Guinea were lively in the field with two run-outs, while Nosaina Pokana and Alei Nao took a wicket apiece..
Earlier, having opted to bat, Papau New Guinea started well with Kiplin Doriga (50) and Riley Hekure (35) putting on 86 for the opening wicket..
The breakthrough came in the 27th over when Seifert stumped Hekure and the wickets started to tumble, threatening to ruin the platform set by the openers.
Hiri Hiri (37) came to the crease and looked to take back some control, but was quickly running out of partners, with Weerasundara striking twice in the 33rd over to remove Doriga (50) and Anthony Vare.
Tom Willie chipped in with 27 towards the end, but after 48.3 overs Papau New Guinea were all out short of 200.
Right-arm medium pacer Brett Randell finished with figures of three for 23 from 7.3 overs, while Rakitha Weerasundara had three for 23 from five overs.
New Zealand will now play the United Arab Emirates in the first plate semi-final in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.