Christchurch: Australia's under-19s demolished South Africa in the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup final on Saturday to complete a 100 per cent record in the tournament showcasing tomorrow's stars.
The Australians secured a seven-wicket victory with 29 balls to spare in the final at the Bert Sutcliffe Oval, reaching 209 for three in reply to South Africa's 206 for nine. Jarrad Burke hit the winning runs to end 100 not out and ensure the Australian teenagers finished the tournament without a blemish to their record. "Everything went according to plan and they played superbly throughout the tournament," said Australia coach Wayne Phillips. "I told the guys after the game that they had won 13 games in-a-row and that is quite a performance. They have worked hard and I can't be more proud of a group of players," he said. "They will all be given the same opportunity and it's up to them to make the most of what comes their way, but there is no reason why they can't all go on to higher things." South Africa coach Hylton Ackerman singled out Australian captain Cameron White for praise, but found much to commend in his own multi-racial side. "The Australians have dominated this tournament and they have been the better side by far," he said. "White is an impressive young man and he captained his team brilliantly. He is very quick thinking and has an old head on young shoulders," Ackerman added. "I'm obviously disappointed we lost but this is a squad of eight blacks and seven whites so for us to come out here and get to the final is brilliant for South African cricket." Four wickets from Aaron Bird and another excellent performance by left-arm spinner Xavier Doherty, who finished with two for 26 from 10 overs, ended South Africa's hopes of setting a match-winning target. It took an unbeaten 52 from wicket-keeper Zwelibanzi Homani to push the youthful Proteas' score just over the 200 mark after the South Africans had won the toss and elected to bat on a good pitch. South Africa needed an early breakthrough but they made a crucial mistake by dropping Craig Simmons at first slip when he was on 14 with Australia 29 for no loss. Simmons was again missed on 34 when Brent Kops dropped a caught-and-bowled chance, but the mistake was not to prove costly with Simmons bowled by an in-swinger off Kops' next ball. By then, however, Australia was cruising on 71 for one. Shaun Marsh joined Burke and the pair was never in trouble as they set about knocking off the required runs. The pair added 64 for the second wicket before a bizarre run-out accounted for Marsh on 35. The two batsmen collided going for a second run with Marsh left on the ground as the bails were taken off. Australia needed another 68 for victory and Cameron White joined Burke to help finish the job off. White passed 21 to become the leading run scorer in the tournament with a towering six off Ryan Bailey, before being bowled three balls later by Ryan McLaren having added one more run to his name.
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