An all-round effort from captain Kaylum Boshier and Todd Watson has helped New Zealand’s Under 19 side to a 52 run win in their ICC U19 Cricket World Cup warm-up against Zimbabwe at Hagley Park in Christchurch.
New Zealand batted first with Boshier spending almost 40 overs in the middle while Watson – who came in at No. 9 – hit a quick-fire fifty to set Zimbabwe 221 for victory.
Two wickets in as many balls by Zimbabwe fast bowler Kieran Robinson had New Zealand on the ropes at 7-2 early in the first innings before Boshier came to the crease.
The Central Districts all-rounder played a measured innings of 66 runs off 113 deliveries with just 16 of those runs coming from boundaries.
Once Boshier was dismissed with New Zealand 153-8, Watson took on the Zimbabwean bowling attack. The young product of Hawke’s Bay hit six boundaries with four of them clearing the rope en route to a swashbuckling 53 runs off 32 balls. Felix Murray provided able company with Watson to put on 58 runs for the ninth wicket.
Zimbabwe looked to attack from the outset in reply with the first over going for 10 runs, but it wasn’t long before opening bowler Matthew Fisher found his rhythm and produced the early breakthrough of Donald Mlambo in his third over.
Watson came in at first change in the ninth over and struck immediately removing Zimbabwe opener Gregory Dollar for 25 to halt the visitors’ pursuit.
Jakob Bhula - who managed 30 runs opening the batting for New Zealand - snared a wicket with his second delivery before Boshier brought himself on not longer after and removed fellow captain Liam Roche for just five runs.
The momentum shifted Zimbabwe’s way as Milton Shumba and Robert Chimhinya put on 74 runs for the fifth wicket before Boshier returned for a second spell and dismissed Chiminya and new batsman Wesley Madhevere in the same over. Boshier finished with figures of 3-17 from his four overs.
Felix Murray took the big scalp of Shumba next over as New Zealand claimed Zimbabwe’s last six wickets for just 36 runs to seal the victory.