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Kiwis claim third spot in an epic penultimate day's action

The runners-up table for the 2023 Over-50s Cricket World Cup has been decided after all teams, barring hosts South Africa and England who square off in the final tomorrow at Newlands Cricket Ground, played their final fixtures today.

USA vs New Zealand

The battle for 3rd and 4th place overall was an outstanding affair, with the Kiwis holding on to claim the narrowest of victories to claim third spot.

Batting first, the USA saw off New Zealand’s excellent opening bowlers, with Rafay Kazi (54), Fazal Alam (20) and Ajith Jayasinghe (68) giving the Americans a solid platform on their way to a challenging total of 209.

Similarly, the Kiwis got off to a solid start in reply, with the perennial Richard Petrie (68) anchoring a solid top four effort which produced 148 runs in total.

Needing 62 runs in the last 10 overs, with 5 wickets in hand, USA’s bowlers fought back to claim the wickets of Owens (0), Robinson (8), Campbell (6), Askew (5) and Goldingham (1) putting New Zealand on 199/9 with just 5 balls to knock off the 11 remaining required runs.

Fortunately for the Antipodeans, Simon Dodds kept his head, and ran well to end on 28 not out off just 23 balls, with fellow batsman Mike Harrow the hero of the moment as he smashed a huge six to end with 7 off just 3 balls to end the tournament in style, giving New Zealand the win with just one ball to spare.

Zimbabwe vs Pakistan

Zimbabwe would have liked to close out the tournament in style to claim a plate win after a shaky start followed by a series of good results in the latter parts of the group stages.

But it was not to be – Pakistan proved a bridge too far, defeating the African side by 6 wickets. Zimbabwe posted a challenging 190 in their allotted overs, with Stuart Carlisle (47) and Kelly Bennett (42) the biggest contributors.

In reply, Pakistan’s opening pair Mohammad Azher Khan (77 off 72 balls) and Asif Hamayun (60 off 68 balls) set a base that saw them knock off the total in the 31st over, just 4 wickets down.

West Indies vs Wales

The Windies have been a bit of an up-and-down side throughout the tournament but clinched a final match thriller by just 1 wicket against a spirited Welsh outfit.

Wales batted first and posted a modest 146/9 in 45 overs, and would have needed a top bowling performance to defend the low total.

The Windies in reply got off to a poor start, with the opening pair dismissed early to leave the 2/13 in just the 3rd over.

But solid contributions from Narine Bidhesi (18), Delroy Morgan (49), Sunil Dhaniram (18) and Vejai Seonarine (24) edged the Windies closer to the win.

A flurry of wickets from Wales’ 2nd change bowler Julian Ballinger (4 for 24 in 9 overs) gave his team hope of a famous win, but in the end Zamin Amin (2*) and Basil Persaud (2*) held on to score the most important 4 runs of their tournament to date.

Sri Lanka vs India

Sri Lanka closed out their tournament with an excellent 52-run win over fellow continental side India, with their top four of Marlon Meurling (22), Vajira Wijegunawardane (53), Prasanna Jayawardena (19) and Ruvin Peiris (38) laying the base for a total of 199 all out.

India’s reply had fits and starts - opener Verinder Bhoombla’s 32 the only decent score in the top four. Fakir Dungaria made 43 to shore up a bit of a middle order collapse but it was not enough in the end, as the Indians were bowled out for 147 in the 39th over.

Australia vs Namibia

South Africa’s neighbours finished their campaign in disappointing fashion after slumping to a 175-run loss vs Australia.

The Aussies posted a mammoth 287 in their 45 overs, with opener Anthony Barranca putting all bowlers to the sword in his sterling 118 off just 121 deliveries. He was ably supported by John Rankin, who scored 57 off 62 balls in a 151-run 2nd wicket partnership.

In reply, Namibia could only muster 112 all out, with only Alex Horn (25) contributing a score over 20.

Canada vs UAE

The Canadians finished their tournament on a high, beating UAE by a solid 7 wickets after knocking off the target of 168 in just 35 overs, with the loss of only 3 wickets.

Openers Imdad Alli (47 off 42 balls) and Venkatesh Kulkharni (50 off 81 balls) laid a solid platform, scoring 76 for the 1st wicket before Aarif Talati closed proceedings with 41 not out.

Picture courtesy of MatchPixSA

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