USA's World Cup preparations hit roadblock
USA’s preparations for the ICC Under-19 World Cup came unstuck as they were beaten by Hong Kong in a warm-up match. Afgahnistan, who beat Hong Kong earlier in the week, lost to a Canterbury A team, while Canada lost to an Auckland XI.
USA only managed 182 for 9 after they chose to bat, their efforts not aided by three run outs. Hong Kong raced to 186 for 4 in 32.2 overs with captain Jamie Atkinson blasting 100 off 86 deliveries. He added 156 at almost a run-a-ball with Ashish Gadhia (59).
Afghanistan went down to a five-wicket loss to Canterbury A, being bowled out for 169 after a promising start. Canterbury eased to victory in 32.2 overs, opener Kereyn Ambler leading the way with 70 off 77 balls.
Auckland XI made 171 for 6 in a match reduced to 33 overs-a-side by rain. Canada struggled to keep on top of a stiff asking rate and finished on 148 for 7, although a fifty from Ruvindu Gunasekara gave them some cause for optimism.
This was the last round of unofficial warm-ups as the teams all head to Christchurch for the tournament’s official opening on Sunday. Two days of official warm-ups follow before the first batch of proper games on Friday, January 15.
Martin Williamson is executive editor of ESPNcricinfo and managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe, the Middle East and Africa