Australia progress to semi-finals
Australia Under-19 232 for 8 (Marsh 53) beat New Zealand Under-19 170 (Hazlewood 2-24) by 62 runs
A trans-Tasman contest that promised plenty of action ended in a one-sided squib, with Australia knocking aside New Zealand to qualify for the semi-finals of the Under-19 World Cup. Their batsmen faced a tough task in putting up 232, but their bowlers had few hassles in dismissing New Zealand for 170 in 43.2 overs at the Mainpower Oval in Rangiora.
Mitchell Marsh, after opting to bat, found himself in at the crease in the third over after Tim Beaton fell cheaply. With Nic Maddinson timing the ball nicely, Marsh was able to ease into his shots and the pair ticked off a half-century stand at nearly five-and-a-half runs an over. Then Maddinson fell to Logan van Beek for a 45-ball 39, and Marsh was forced to assess the situation. Shortly after crossing his half-century, Marsh was run out and Jason Floros suffered the same fate not too long after, with Harry Boam finding his mark on both occasions.
From here New Zealand's attack, in particular the offspinner Tim Johnston, slowed down the runs. Alex Keath (32) and Tim Armstrong (39) stepped into consolidation mode, and the wicketkeeper Tom Triffitt chipped in with 23 from 30 balls. Superbly, New Zealand only allowed Australia eight runs in the last three overs.
Unfortunately for the home side, their could not replicate such accuracy with the bat. As gloomy clouds hovered over the ground the skies darkened and a light shower passed, but no play was lost. Marsh, conscious of the Duckworth-Lewis par score for the first 20 overs, which are required to get a result, turned to his slow bowlers and it worked a charm.
Floros send back Boam for 6 with his first ball and Jimmy Neesham for 13 in a five-over spell, while Josh Hazlewood struck twice to leave New Zealand hurting at 90 for 6. With the dismissal of the captain Craig Cachopa for 34 at 130 for 7, to the slow left-arm spin of the impressive Luke Doran (2 for 36), New Zealand's hopes faded further and the end came in the 43rd over when Nick Buchanan picked up his second wicket.
Marsh, the Man of the Match, said later: "It's obviously a great feeling for us to get the win today; we bowled really well and we had a little bit of luck with the weather staying away and we're now looking forward to playing Sri Lanka on Wednesday.
"It was awesome to play in front of a crowd like that out there today. I think it was the first time some of our boys have played in front of a crowd like that. Hopefully we can get a crowd like that for the semi final and then again if we can make the final."
Australia will now meet Sri Lanka, who crushed South Africa in the other quarter-final, on Wednesday.