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Bermuda better Ireland and wins also for SA, Nepal, and New Zealand

Thu, Feb 21, 2008 12:04 PM


At the Royal Selangor Club Bermuda made up for a couple of poor results at the ICC U/19 Cricket World Cup so far with a 20-run victory over Ireland as the two weaker teams in Group D fought it out.

Chasing 222 for victory, Ireland looked to be coasting on 98-1 but then the wheels came off and wickets fell at regular intervals. Only Chris Dougherty (70) showed he was capable of performing at this level as Christopher Douglas took 5-40 with the Ireland middle-order crumbling under pressure.

Earlier, Bermuda had made 221 thanks mainly to 107-partnership for the fifth wicket between Rodney Trott (64) and Malachi Jones (58). With England and Bangladesh in action tomorrow to see who will top Group D, Ireland and Bermuda can now prepare for life in the Plate Championship next week.

It's getting down the business end of the group stage with just one round of matches remaining. On Friday, India takes on the West Indies in Group B at Kinrara Oval in the match that will decide who finishes where.

South Africa still has a nervous wait to see if it will progress to the Super League stage despite easily accounting for the challenge of Papua New Guinea at Kinrara Oval on Thursday.

The junior Proteas bowled PNG out for just 125 and then knocked off the runs in 14.2 overs to make sure they improved their net run-rate. But with India playing the West Indies tomorrow, South Africa must hope that the boys from the Caribbean slip up otherwise their destination will be Johor and the Plate Competition.

But if India wins at Kinrara Oval then it will top the group and SA will make it through to the last eight as Group B runners-up. SA had four points from three games compared to two from two for the West Indies but its net run-rate is currently less than the Windies. So a win of any kind will be enough for Larry Gomes' team – all eyes (at least from the West Indies and South Africa, not to mention India, will be on that game tomorrow).

In today's match, Pieter Malan made up for two successive first-over ducks in the competition so far to register a dominant half-century as SA made light work of PNG's meagre target. Earlier, leg-spinner Jonathan Vandiar took four wickets to clean up the PNG batsmen after Wayne Parnell and Matthew Arnold had done the early damage.

In Penang, Nepal beat Namibia by just three runs in a thrilling finish at the Malaysian University of Science ground. In what was a low-scoring game, Nepal made 164 batting first with Mahesh Chhetri top scoring on 62.

In reply, despite the efforts of Louis van der Westhuizen (65) and Sean Silver (41) Namibia fell just three agonising runs short as Nepal's bowlers turned the screw. It was a bitter blow for Dawid Botha's men as at one stage they needed just five runs to win and still had two wickets in hand but then a run out and a wicket from Gyanendra Malla turned the tables at the last minute.

At Johor Cricket Academy, Malaysia was unable to repeat its heroics from the previous day when it beat Zimbabwe as it was dismissed for just 47 runs in 17.1 overs by a rampant New Zealand side.

The Kiwis, still smarting from a very disappointing defeat to Pakistan earlier in the week, were in no mood to entertain thoughts of another upset as they inserted Malaysia and promptly ran through them.

All 10 wickets were shared by the two opening bowlers with Trent Boult ending with impressive figures of 7-20, the first bowler to take seven in the tournament so far. Boult was well supported by Tim Southee, who took the other three Malaysia wickets for just 19 runs.

In reply, New Zealand lost two wickets before reaching the target. Sarvana Raj took 2-15 including the wicket of captain Kane Williamson, who top scored for New Zealand with 27.

Elsewhere, England and Bangladesh play at Royal Selangor Club to determine first and second place while a similar situation exists in Group C as Australia clash with Sri Lanka in Penang. Defending champion Pakistan plays Zimbabwe in Johor in a must-win game for the Africans following their defeat to Malaysia on Wednesday.



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