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Sports News
Afghanistan, NZ, South Africa qualify for Super League
 
Tauranga, Jan 17 (PTI) A scintillating double-century stand between New Zealand openers Jakob Bhula and Rachin Ravindra lit up the Hagley Oval as several records were broken during the Group A match against Kenya which the hosts won by 243 runs in the ICC U-19 World Cup.

Bhula's astounding innings of 180 was the highest individual innings in the history of U19 ODIs, while his 245- run first wicket partnership with Ravindra (117) was the best-ever opening stand in the tournament.

The opening wicket partnership set the tone for more onslaught as Finn Allen joined the party with a belligerent 90 that resulted in New Zealand notching a mammoth 436 for four, the second highest total in ICC U19 Cricket World Cup.

In another Group A match in fr ont of broadcast cameras, Wandile Makwetu scored a run-a-ball 99 not out and fast bowler Hermann Rolfes took four wickets to help 2014 champions South Africa defeat defending champion the Windies by 76 runs.

The result means New Zealand and South Africa have progressed to the Super League after two successive wins, while the Windies and Kenya, following back-to-back defeats, will now feature in the Plate Championship.

Elsewhere, Afghanistan defeated Sri Lanka by 32 runs to become the first side to qualify for the Super League from Group D. This result means the winner of Sri Lanka and Pakistan match on Friday, 19 January in Whangarei will become the second side to progress to the Super League from Group D.

In the fourth and last match of the day, Australia coasted to a comfortable seven wickets victory over Zimbabwe to notch up their first win in Pool B.

On Friday, Australia will take on Papua New Guinea and India will meet Zimbabwe, and if both Australia and India win their matches, they will qualify for the Super League.

New Zealand openers Bhula and left-hander Ravindra made Kenya captain Sachin Bhudia repent his decision to field first as the pair added 245 runs in less than 36 overs, providing Allen the launching pad as the home side finished at 436 for four in their 50 overs.

Bhula smashed 10 fours and five sixes off 144 deliveries.

He was in sight of the maiden double-century in U19 cricket, but was run-out with three overs remaining.

Nevertheless, his innings bettered the previous highest individual score of 179 not out by Australia's Theo Doropoulos against England in 2003. The previous highest in U19 CWCs was 176 was in the name of Donovan Pagon, which the Windies batsman had scored against Scotland in 2002.

Ravindra matched Bhula stroke-by-stroke as he clubbed eight fours and three sixes in an entertaining 101-ball 117.

Their partnership was the second best for any wicket in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup.

Later, Allen's 40-ball 90 (8x4, 6x6) further inflated the total, which is second only to Australia's record score of 480 for six, which also came against Kenya in 2002.

Kenya never went for the target and played out the 50 overs to finish with 193 for four.

Opener Aman Gandhi scored 63 off 106 deliveries while Thomas Ochieng made an unbeaten 39 off 47. Ravindra followed up his century with two for 33 bowling his left-arm spin.

Bhula, who was later named player of the match, said: "It's a really big win for us and we really wanted to come here today and make our mark.

"I think we did that putting 430 on the board, and to go out and bowl like we did today, we were really happy. I thought we bowled really well, probably lacked in the field a little, but that s a work-on for the next game.


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INTERNATIONAL NEWS
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