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January 24, 2010
Following their Under-19 World Cup exit in the quarter-finals to their Trans-Tasman rivals Australia in front of home fans, New Zealand captain Craig Cachopa has said his team paid the price for being too preoccupied with the weather and the Duckworth-Lewis target. Chasing 233 under grey skies in Rangiora, New Zealand could only manage 170.
Sensing that rain could have the final say, Australian captain Mitchell Marsh introduced his spinners as early as the tenth over to run through the overs quickly in order to bowl the minimum 20 to constitute a match. New Zealand lost three wickets in that period and never really recovered to challenge the Australians.
"We thought there was a big storm coming and we tried to keep up with the Duckworth, but lost a few wickets, and that made it quite hard," Cachopa told the Press. "I looked at the rain radar just as I was going out to bat, and there wasn't anything on it, so we might have shot ourselves in the foot."
However, Cachopa didn't hide behind that excuse for the defeat, and admitted that his team played poor cricket. He expected the experienced members of the team to step up. New Zealand had three players in their line-up who took part in the previous World Cup in Malaysia - Harry Boam, Doug Bracewell and Corey Anderson. Boam was bowled for 6, Anderson fell tamely for 21 after getting off to a brisk start and Bracewell fell for 33 when his team was already in trouble.
"I thought the guys that have been in the side for a while should've stood up today, and they didn't quite do that, so that's disappointing," Cachopa said.
Cachopa walked in in the 17th over when New Zealand had lost three wickets. He and Bracewell had added 40 for the seventh wicket before he was dismissed by the left-arm spinner Luke Doran for 34. He was the seventh wicket down at 130, just when New Zealand were desperate for a big partnership.
"Me and Dougie [Bracewell] put together a good partnership and when we were there I thought we had a massive shot," Cachopa said. "Unfortunately, I got out, but I thought we still had a really good opportunity when Dougie and Ben [Wheeler] were together, and then we just played poor cricket.
He said it was a rather disappointing way to exit the competition. "We played really good cricket up to this point, and we watched a lot of the other sides play and we know that we're definitely good enough to win this competition but, obviously, we've just taken that right out of the equation now."
New Zealand will play South Africa in Lincoln on Monday in the fifth place playoff semi-final.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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