New Zealand, the 'Land of the Long White Cloud', were the hosts for the ICC Under 19 World Cup in 2002. It was the first time they had hosted the competition and the format for the competition was the same as two years previously in Sri Lanka.
Scotland were the only European country present as a result of only the top team from the ECC Under 19 Championships in 2001 qualifying. They found themselves in a daunting group containing Australia, West Indies and Kenya. Once again with the competition taking place in the Southern Hemisphere a lack of match preparation for the Scots was a problem, but at least they did not have to contend with the searing heat that Holland and Ireland had to endure in Sri Lanka.
The Scots opened their campaign in Group D against the West Indies in Carisbrook Dunedin and found themselves on the wrong end of a comprehensive defeat. Batting first after winning the toss the West Indies rattled up 402 runs for the loss of 3 wickets in their fifty over allocation. Future Test player Donovan Pagon made 176 and Lendl Simmons was unbeaten on 121. In reply Scotland could only muster 101 with Qasim Sheikh top scoring with 37. The next day at the same venue Scotland faced Kenya and in a rain interrupted match they ran out winners by five wickets. Winning the toss they ask Kenya to bat and restricted them to 113 for 5 when the innings closed. In reply chasing a revised target of 124 in 25 overs which the Scots reached with the last ball. Moneeb Iqbal with 40 was the mainstay of the batting and he was well supported by Steven Gilmour (right) and Qasim Sheikh.
With confidence restored the faced Australia once again at Carisbrook. The Australians were on a roll having thrashed Kenya by 430 runs and then followed up by defeating the West Indies by 42 runs. The Aussie juggernaut was on a roll and winning the toss proceeded to score at will ending with 335 for 5 with Cameron White the main tormentor unbeaten on 156 and Daniel Christian out for 93. The Scots in reply could only manage 106 against a tight Australian attack with Xavier Doherty taking 4 wickets for 15 runs and Beau Casson 3 for 18. The West Indies easily beat Kenya by 9 wickets to join Australia in the latter stages.
In Group A India and South Africa both qualified for the Super League with two victories each. India had beaten South Africa but surprisingly had lost to Bangladesh by 2 wickets but they did top the group on run rate. Canada the other team in the group were easily beaten by India and South Africa but managed to tie with Bangladesh to give them their first points.
Group B saw the Hosts New Zealand top the group after they recorded wins against Zimbabwe, by six wickets, and Namibia also by 6 wickets. Their opening match against Sri Lanka at the Bert Sutcliffe Oval in Lincoln was abandoned as no result with Sri Lanka 85 for 2. Although surprisingly beaten by Namibia by 4 wickets, Sri Lanka claimed the second place thanks to beating Zimbabwe by 63 runs and getting the two points for the no result against New Zealand.
The tightest group was Group C where Pakistan, England and Nepal all finished with two wins and a defeat, and Papua New Guinea bottom with no points. The surprise was Nepal's 30 runs victory over a Pakistan side that included Salman Butt. Batting first Nepal only made 151 but with Shakti Gauchan and Sanjam Regmi taking 3 wickets a piece they bowled Pakistan out for 121. Nepal also made England struggle before losing by 37 runs. Pakistan however recovered in their last game against England which was a must win match. They easily overtook England's total of 182 with 5 overs to spare and thanks to the better run rate qualified as winners of the section with England second.
In the Super League India, West Indies and Pakistan all won two games but it was India who topped the group thanks to getting bonus points in both victories. West Indies took second place with one extra bonus point and it was back home for Pakistan and winless Sri Lanka.
Australia in the other section went on their winning ways with victories over South Africa, New Zealand and England. For the hosts it was disappointing to lose to their near neighbours and rivals in their final match but they could have no complaints with the Aussies chasing down 194 for the loss of 3 wickets in just under 40 overs. The hosts were also beaten by South Africa to end their tournament participation, but they did have the consolation of beating England by 3 runs.
England finished the Super League with no victories , however the ECB coffers were spared paying out what was reportedly bonuses of £5000 per man if the trophy had been won.
In the semi finals India were no match for South Africa going down by 112 runs and Australia took care of the West Indies winning by 93 runs. Hopes were high of a close match in the final but Australia were now on a roll. South Africa won the toss and posted a target of 206 thanks to half centuries by Greg Smith and Zwelibanzi Homani. It was not nearly enough however as Australia with opener Jarrad Burke batting through for a century and solid contributions from the other batsmen won by 7 wickets and just under 5 overs in hand.
The Plate competition saw Zimbabwe unbeaten against Bangladesh, Kenya and PNG to top Group 1 and they qualified for the semi finals along with Bangladesh. In Group 2 the qualifiers for the semis were in doubt until the final games took place. The first round of matches saw Nepal defeat Canada by 9 wickets and Scotland go down by 4 wickets to Namibia. Scotland with a Steven Gilmour century and 60 from Qasim Sheikh had posted a total of 234 which Namibia got in the forty fourth over mainly due to 142. from Stephan Swanepoel.
In the second round of matches Scotland easily beat Canada by five wickets and Nepal defeated Namibia by 10 runs. These results meant that only Canada could not qualify for the semi finals going into the last round of matches. Both games were played at the Colin Maiden Park in Auckland so everyone knew what was required for victory.
It soon became apparent that Namibia were going to defeat Canada and in the process would qualify for the bonus point which was awarded if a team scored at a run rate of 1.25 of the opposition. In the other match Nepal had batted first and made 205 which meant that the Scots would have to score their runs in 40 overs and in chasing the runs lost early wickets and eventually lost by 48 runs.
In the semi finals Zimbabwe captained by Tatenda Taibu beat Namibia by 35 runs and Nepal defeated Bangladesh by 23 runs to set up their first final appearance.
The final itself was played at Lincoln and Zimbabwe were too powerful for Nepal. Winning the toss and batting first they reached 247 for the loss of one wicket with Taibu and Brendan Taylor putting on an unbeaten partnership of 135. In reply Nepal struggled against the Zimbabwe attack and were all out for 110.
Tatenda Taibu won the man of the tournament award for his batting, wicket keeping and bowling. He took 12 wickets and scored 350 runs in the tournament.