Hosts New Zealand finished eighth at the 2018 Under 19 Cricket World Cup after losing their final three matches.
Beat West Indies by 8 wickets
Beat Kenya by 243 runs
Beat South Africa by 71 runs
Lost to Afghanistan by 202 runs
Fifth place play-off
Lost to South Africa by 73 runs
Seventh place play-off
Lost to England by 32 runs
Positives to take home?
New Zealand players won't have to travel far to get back home, but they are bound to be feeling disappointed wherever they are travelling to. Having started really well, winning all three of their group games, their form fell off a cliff as they lost their next three fixtures to finish 8th. Despite their disappointing final result, there were some stand-out performances from New Zealand.
First among them was the 180 scored by Jakob Bhula in their Group A match against Kenya. The opening batsman struck 10 fours and five sixes in his 144-ball knock to amass what was at the time the highest score at an U19 World Cup, with Sri Lanka's Hasitha Boyagoda then stealing his thunder six days later with 191 against the same opposition. Bhula's innings was the backbone of New Zealand's 436/4 – the second-highest total ever at an U19 World Cup, after Australia's 480/6 in 2002, again against Kenya.
Overall, Bhula scored 316 runs at an average of 52.66 in the tournament, while team mate Finn Allen managed 338 at 67.60, with an enormous strike-rate of 119.01. Rachin Ravindra was excellent with both bat and ball, scoring 233 runs across the competition, as well as taking 13 wickets.
Areas to improve?
The problem for New Zealand was that when Bhula, Allen and Ravindra failed to fire with the bat, the whole side struggled massively. Chasing 309/6 against Afghanistan in the quarter-final, all three fell quickly to leave them 20/4 and they never recovered.
It was a similar story against South Africa in the fifth place play-off too, as the top three departed to leave the Blackcaps 52/3. Dale Phillips managed 74 but they were dismissed for 211, well short of South Africa's 284/6.
In the final game against England they were well on-course to chase 261 but they slipped from 201/4 when Allen was dismissed for 87 to 229 all out in a remarkable collapse. If they are to improve, they need to find a way to prevent batting collapses.
Despite his side's poor final three games, Rachin Ravindra managed to stand out with the bat and ball. The left-handed opening batsman and slow left-arm bowler was the third-highest run-scorer for his side and top wicket-taker.
He picked up at least one wicket per match, recording figures of 3/30 against the West Indies and 4/32 against South Africa – a game in which he also made 76 with the bat. His 117 against Kenya showed the 18-year-old has the full array of shots to be a success in the future.
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