Cricket: Napier seals steady victory over Kiwis

Click to follow
The Essex all-rounder Graham Napier hit the decisive run as England's youngsters made a winning start to their Under-19 World Cup campaign with a four-wicket triumph over New Zealand in Pretoria yesterday.

Napier wrapped up victory in the 44th over after the Sussex left-hander Giles Haywood had been trapped leg before on 39 by Peter Ingram with the scores level.

England's batting ran into difficulties due to a fine early spell from New Zealand's Regan West, who accounted for Stephen Peters, caught at mid-on for nine. But the steadying influence of first Michael Gough (18) then Haywood, recalled for this game, and Graeme Swann (39) plus an unbeaten 18 from Chris Schofield guided England home.

New Zealand had earlier contributed to their own downfall after winning the toss as three run-outs in the space of 13 balls late in the innings restricted their progress to 180 all out. James Marshall hit a confident 35 and Lou Vincent 33, but otherwise the England fielders were always on top.

MTN UNDER-19 WORLD CUP (Pretoria) Preliminary round: New Zealand 180 (47.1 overs); England 181 for 6 (43.2 overs). England bt New Zealand by four wickets.