Kiwis hope to better Cup record

Published: Saturday, February 16, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
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Kane Williamson's side will be hoping to improve on New Zealand U-19s performance at the last event where they failed to reach the Super League section of the competition. And although they managed to make it through to the Plate Final two years ago, they slumped to a disappointing one-wicket defeat to Nepal in a thrilling match.

The side prepared for the event in Malaysia with a training camp in Brisbane before taking on Australia U-19s in two warm-up matches, having also played against the New Zealand Cricket Players Association Masters XI just before Christmas last year as part of the money-raising efforts for the World Vision Cyclone Relief Fund.

And they will look to learn from the experience of coach Dipak Patel, who had an excellent impact on the ICC Cricket World Cup 1992 opening the bowling with his off spin.

New Zealand's youngsters performed well against India in February 2007, drawing a two-match Test series and narrowly losing a one-day series 2-1, including a thrilling last ball one-wicket victory in the second ODI.

The Kiwi skipper, who believes that India and Pakistan will be the teams to beat at the event, is hopeful his side will be able to improve on their efforts at the last ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup.

Williamson said: "Our expectations are based around making the most of the talent that the team collectively possesses. If we play to our potential then a successful return to the Super League should be within the team's grasp."

Key Players:

Williamson: He earned player of the tournament award last year at the Gillette Cup schools competition, showed his potential when he made an excellent 47 not out off just 56 balls for Northern Districts against Bangladesh's senior team in Dec 2007.

But he will need support from the likes of Corey Anderson, who made his first-class debut at the age of just 16, played in last season's State Championship, Greg Morgan, Tim Southee, and Trent Boult who were all were selected for the New Zealand A's three week training camp in Darwin last year, if they are to perform well.

The side will also look to all rounder Greg Morgan, who on his first-class debut for Auckland against Northern Districts made a brilliant 83* batting at number ten after coming in at 85-8, for consistency.

Squad: Kane Williamson (capt), Corey Anderson, Nicholas Beard, Harry Boam, Trent Boult, Michael Bracewell, Tamati Clarke, Fraser Colson, Michael Guptill-Bunce, Greg Morgan, Jeet Raval, Hamish Rutherford, Timothy Southee, Anurag Verma and George Worker.

Kiwi kids in U-19 World Cups:

1988: 7th place; 1998: R-up; 2000: 4th in Super League pool; 2002: 3rd in Super League pool; 2004: 4th in Super League pool; 2006: Plate R-up.


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