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Aman Gandhi
CWC-U19

Preview: PNG U19s v Kenya U19s

ICC U19 CWC, match preview

Both teams will be seeking their first win of the ICC U19 CWC when they meet in the 15th place play-off.

Papua New Guinea and Kenya are seeking their first wins of the tournament to avoid a last-place finish, as they go head to head in the 15th place play-off in Christchurch.

Form guide

This being the wooden spoon match, neither side has the strongest record, as evidenced by a zero in the win column for both teams.

Kenya's youngsters have found it tough going, losing to South Africa by 169 runs, New Zealand by 243 runs and West Indies by 222 runs in a devilishly difficult Group A. Things went from bad to worse in their Plate quarter-final against Sri Lanka, when their opponents racked up 419/4 in a thumping 311-run victory – the joint second-biggest margin of victory in ICC U19 CWC history. Their last match, in the 13th place play-off semi-final, was an eight-wicket defeat to Namibia, who themselves had been without a win until that point.

PNG are also without a victory, having suffered heavy defeats to Australia, India and Zimbabwe in the groups before falling 80 runs short against Canada in the Plate quarter-final and losing by three wickets to Ireland in the 13th place play-off semi-final.

Players to watch 

James Tau (PNG)
The left-arm seamer has found a bit of form as the tournament has worn on and been able to make inroads with the new ball for PNG. He took 2/42 off 10 against Australia (immensely respectable in the context of the Aussies’ 370/8), 2/37 off nine against Canada, and against Ireland he was very nearly the bowler of the day, bagging 4/45 and causing the men in green to wobble to 71/5 in their chase of 122.

Video
A double strike by James Tau

Aman Gandhi (Ken)
The steady opener (pictured, top) is his side’s top run-scorer in the tournament, with two half-centuries to his name. He made 63 against a high-performing New Zealand side in the group stage and then 52 – something of a lone hand – in the last match against Namibia. If Kenya’s bowlers can keep their team in the game, another anchor knock by Gandhi could be the difference against PNG.

World Cup history

Between 1998 and 2018, Kenya have played 19 matches at the ICC U19 CWC, winning five and losing 15. 

This is PNG’s eighth appearance in the finals. They too have yet to make the quarter-finals, with a best finish of 12th in the 2008 and 2010 editions, while the 2012 tournament saw the first and so far only PNG centurion at this level, Christopher Kent making 105* against Afghanistan.

Head to head

The teams have met just twice before – in Johannesburg in 1998 and in Auckland in 2002. Both times Kenya won comfortably.

Forecast 

A cloudy 21-degree day is expected in Christchurch, with 76 per cent humidity and a 20 per cent chance of rain.

Squads

PNG: Vagi Karaho (c), Sema Kamea, Eisa Eka, James Tau, Tau Toa Nou, Nou Rarua, Igo Mahuru, Simon Atai, Leke Morea, Kevau Tau, Heagi Toua, Daure Aiga, Ovia Sam, Sinaka Arua, Boge Arua

Kenya: Sachin Bhudia (c), Maxwel Ager, Abhishekh Chidambaran, Aveet Desai, Jay Doshi, Aman Gandhi, Ankit Hirani, Jasraj Kundi, Jayant Mepani, Gerard Mwendwa, Dennis Musyoka, Thoma Ochieng, Sukhdeep Singh, Siddharth Vasudev, Rene Were

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