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ICC U19 World Cup | All-round Kristian Clarke seals semi-final spot for New Zealand

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ICC U19 World Cup | All-round Kristian Clarke seals semi-final spot for New Zealand

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SportsCafe Desk

01/30/2020

A Man-of-the-Match performance from Kristian Clarke — who picked up four for 25 with the ball and scored 46 not out with the bat — led New Zealand to a thrilling two-wicket win over the West Indies. Clarke shared an unbeaten 86-run stand with Joey Field to clinch victory from the jaws of defeat.

Brief Scores: West Indies 238 in 47.5 overs (Kirk McKenzie 99, Kelvon Anderson 33; Kristian Clarke 4-25) lost to New Zealand 239/8 in 49.4 overs (Kristian Clarke 46*, Joey Field 38*; Ashmead Nedd 3-33) by 2 wickets

At one point, the Kiwis were reeling at 153 for eight in the 35th over — still 86 runs required to keep their hopes of a junior World Cup title alive with two wickets and 91 balls remaining. And so when Clarke guided a low full toss past point and got through for the single to clinch a stunning comeback, there were tears of joy and dismay on display in Benoni. The Kiwis sealed a spot in the Super League semi-final, while it was all over the youngsters from the Caribbean. 

Opting to bat first, the Windies looked well set to get over 300. However, Clarke triggered a collapse at 183 for three by trapping the well-set Antonio Morris in front for 31. West Indies would lose another four wickets in the space of 22 runs, before eventually being bowled out for 238 in the 48th over. Kirk McKenzie top-scored for the Windies, hitting 11 fours and three sixes, en route his 99. 

Chasing a par score, the Black Caps lost opener Ollie White early but a 48-run stand for the second wicket stabilized things. However, the flurry of wickets that followed — reducing them to 67 for four — set them back again. Quinn Sunde and Simon Keene added 51 for the fifth wicket, but at 153 for eight, the game looked all but over.

Then, for the second time in this tournament (look back to the New Zealand-Sri Lanka clash), the Kiwi tail showed utmost calm and coolly disposed of the remaining runs pinching singles and twos early on before playing the extravagant shots later. Clarke (46 not out) and Field (38 not out) — batting at No.9 and No.10 — were the top-scorer for New Zealand.

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