New Zealand's hopes of securing a third-place finish at cricket's under-19 World Cup tournament were dashed abruptly as South Africa raced to an eight-wicket win in the play-off between the beaten semifinalists in Townsville.
Opting to bat first on Endeavour Oval New Zealand were routed for 90 - South Africa made light of supposedly difficult batting conditions by completing their chase inside 15 overs.
Quinton de Kock ensured South Africa accepted their consolation prize earlier than anticipated as he clipped a neat half century studded with nine boundaries - the same amount New Zealand recorded in their entire innings - from just 43 deliveries.
Theunis de Bruyn (19*) then maintained the rage, finding the fence four times from the nine balls he faced as New Zealand's bowlers resembled their batting counterparts by wilting under pressure.
New Zealand laboured to occupy the crease until part way through the 37th over and a double figure score was never going to test a South African side that were eliminated by tournament favourites Australia.
Joe Carter produced 20 at the top of the order as wickets tumbled around him but when he was fifth out with the score on 43 hopes of posting a competitive total departed with him.
Connor Neynens, a key batting figure in last week's stunning last-ball quarterfinal win over the West Indies, at least provided nuisance value with a stubborn unbeaten 21 from 70 balls.
Legspinner David Rhoda (4-26) spearheaded a disciplined attack by bamboozling the New Zealanders during his 9.5 overs.
The three-wicket win over the West Indies was the highlight of the Kiwis campaign. They also beat minnows Scotland and Afghanistan in pool play before suffering a heavy defeat to Pakistan.
India knocked them out of title contention with a relatively comfortable nine-run win in their semifinal on Thursday.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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