The 2016 New Zealand Under-19s have ended six challenging weeks abroad — traversing Dubai and Bangladesh, and experiencing the gamut of cricketing results from beating Australia to losing to Nepal — with a loss to the now-deposed ICC Under-19 World Cup champions South Africa.
In a tournament studded with surprising results, the two nations needed to get up one last time to play off for 11th spot in the 2016 edition of the tournament. The next edition of the tournament will be held in 2018 in New Zealand.
After New Zealand captain Josh Finnie won the toss and elected to field, tall seamer Zak Gibson had near immediate success with Kyle Verreynne caught by Josh Clarkson off just the fourth ball of the match: South Africa was 1/1.
South Africa carefully started over, before Christian Leopard made the second breakthrough in the ninth over, bowling opener Liam Smith. But with South Africa now 50/2, a platform was building.
Enter the spinners. Felix Murray and Aniket Parikh applied good pressure, then Parikh struck in the 23rd over — Gibson collecting the catch to dismiss Wiaan Mulder: 95/3.
Parikh had his second just a few overs later, but South Africa coolly settled back in and then began escalating the strike rate nicely as they headed towards the 40 over mark, still just four down.
It gave them the confidence to attack. By the time Finn Allen and Rachin Ravindra broke the fifth wicket stand with a run out, it had cost a fatal 116 runs, thanks to century-maker and eventual man of the match Dean Foxcroft (117 off 162) and Rivaldo Moonswamy (51).
The South Africans were now well on their way to their 288 for six — which had been augmented by number seven Wandile Makwetu coming in and whacking an unbeaten half century in just 22 balls.
Ravindra made a good start for New Zealand in reply, getting to a promising 39 before he was run out. He’d lost gamechanger Glenn Phillips early, however, and his wicket triggered a middle order collapse that saw the New Zealanders dive from 54 for two to 79 for six in a crippling 11 overs.
The South Africans had piled the pressure on and now it was too much for the tail, despite a valiant 35 from the well-performed Parikh at eight. The Kiwis were ultimately dismissed for 150 in 38.4 overs to end the tournament in a chastening 12th place.