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News Room : New Zealand brush Nepal aside, Sri Lanka beat Zimbabwe in rain-hit game

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Snehith Reddy slammed an unbeaten 147 off 125 balls, the highest score of the 2024 Under-19 World Cup so far, as New Zealand began their campaign with a comfortable win over Nepal in East London.

Reddy, who turned 17 last November, hit 11 fours and six sixes during his knock. Captain Oscar Jackson gave Reddy good company, contributing 75 in a 157-run partnership for the fourth wicket. The stand, however, ended in the 42nd over when Jackson was bowled by Aakash Tripathi. Lachlan Stackpole and Zac Cumming then fell for ducks, but Reddy’s knock took New Zealand past 300.

In response, Nepal had a shaky start with Deepak Bohara being dismissed in the first over for a duck. Arjun Kumal the other opener, led Nepal’s fight with 90 off 104 balls, including 12 fours, but he lacked support from the other end – the next-best score in Nepal’s chase was captain Dev Khanal’s 36 off 34 balls. Jackson was impressive with the ball as well, returning 2 for 25 in his seven overs. Mason Clarke was the pick of the bowlers for New Zealand, taking 3 for 25 in ,his eight overs.

At 176 for 8 in the 38th over, and 201 for 9 in the 44th, Nepal were in danger of being bowled out, but the tail frustrated New Zealand and helped their team bat out full 50 overs.

“To get off this competition with a win is something we were trying to do,” Jackson said after the game. “It’s very exciting to be one from one and looking forward to the next game. “Being three down for 50-60, it was never ideal. It was just a reassessment phase in the middle, just acknowledging it was tough and just working around that. I think the way we set up the back end of the innings is our strength and owning the middle period was important for us.”

Brief scores:
New Zealand Under-19 302 for 8 in 50 overs (Snehith Reddy 147*, Oscar Jackson 75, Tom Jones 33; Gulsan Jha 2-61, Subash Bhandari 3-60) beat Nepal Under-19 238 for 9 in 50 overs (Arjun Kumal 90, Dev Khanal 36, Subash Bhandari 33*; Mason Clarke 3-25, Ewald Schreuder 2-54, Oscar Jackson 2-25) by 64 runs

Dinura Kalupahana followed up his punchy half-century with a top-order wicket to help Sri Lanka trump Zimbabwe in a rain-hit fixture in Kimberley. Chasing a DLS-adjusted target of 129 in 22 overs, Zimbabwe were bowled out for 89 in 21.2 overs.

Zimbabwe had dominated the early exchanges, reducing Sri Lanka to 88 for 5 in 31 overs. Kalupahana and wicketkeeper-batter Sharujan Shanmuganathan a prodigy, then counterattacked to help their side regain some lost ground. They added 80 off only 71 balls for the sixth wicket to give Sri Lanka’s bowlers something to bowl at.

Kalupahana wasn’t done yet. He took the new ball and removed Zimbabwe’s No.3 Panashe Taruvinga for 8. Legspinner Malsha Tharupathi damaged Zimbabwe’s chase even further with 4 for 17 in his four overs. Captain Mathew Schonken was the only Zimbabwe batter to pass 25.

Brief scores:
Sri Lanka Under-19 204 in 48.3 overs (Ravishan de Silva 31, Rusanda Gamage 31, Dinura Kalupahana 60, Sharujan Shammuganathan 41*; Kohl Eksteen 3-40, Newman Nyamhuri 2-50) beat  Zimbabwe Under-19 89 in 21.1 overs (Mathew Schonken 27; MalshaTharupathi 4-17, Vishwa Lahiru 2-12, Ruvishan Perera 2-02) by 39 runs (via DLS method)

(Cricinfo)