New Zealand secured a satisfying seven-wicket win over Zimbabwe at Sutcliffe Oval, Lincoln, to set the side up for their final top of the table group match tomorrow against Sri Lanka at the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup.
The home team cruised to victory chasing down 136 to win in 25 overs, after earlier decimating the Zimbabwe batting line-up and the win confirms their place in the Super League quarter-finals stage.
Openers Tom Latham and Harry Boam set about their task in an aggressive fashion. They brought up the 50-run partnership in just the 10th over and the 100 in the 18th over, with the left and right-hand combination unsettling the new ball bowlers.
Zimbabwe managed to create a few flutters with New Zealand in sight of the win, picking up three cheap wickets. However victory was always assured though and Man of the Match Tom Latham with an unbeaten 57 led New Zealand home.
The host nation had set up the win by winning the toss and bowling, and despite 20 wides the bowlers’ sustained pressure, coupled with aggressive fielding, kept a stranglehold on the scoring. New ball bowlers Bevan Small and Ben Wheeler both got the ball to swing and caused the Zimbabwe openers constant strife.
New Zealand captain Craig Cachopa was pleased with the result and with the form of his top order batsmen. “Two from two – we’re guaranteed a place in the quarters, so we’re pretty happy with that,” he said.
“Harry and Tom were really good today – they batted really well. And I'm happy with where the team is ahead of tomorrow’s big game against Sri Lanka.”
Tim Johnston was the pick of the New Zealand attack with his attacking and varied off-spin. Only Natsai M’Shangwe and Tinotenda Mutombodzi got past 20 and Zimbabwe were all out in 42 .2 overs for 135.