In a thrilling match, New Zealand managed to just scrape through by one wicket against Afghanistan in the Under-19 World Cup. Chasing a target of 92, New Zealand appeared to be struggling when they were 52 for 6, but they managed to reach 82 for 6 in 11 overs. However, they faced more drama when they lost two more wickets at the score of 82, leaving them with just two wickets in hand and two runs needed to win. Despite left-arm spinner Naseer Khan Maroofkhil running out a New Zealand player backing up at the non-striker’s end, Matthew Rowe emerged as the hero for New Zealand, taking 5 wickets earlier in the match and hitting the winning runs to secure the victory.
New Zealand’s chase got off to a difficult start as three of their top four batters were dismissed for ducks by offspinner Allah Mohammad Ghazanfar. However, Oscar Jackson played a crucial role in the chase, first partnering with Lachlan Stackpole and then with Sam Clode to take them to 82. Despite a late scare, Rowe’s crucial boundary took New Zealand to the top of the Group D table.
Matthew Rowe spoke about the nerve-wracking moments in the match and expressed respect for the Afghanistan team. Earlier, Rowe’s bowling performance was instrumental in restricting Afghanistan to a low total of 91, with him taking five wickets and decimating the Afghanistan middle order. Only two batters managed double figures for Afghanistan as they were bowled out for 91.