Saturday, March 2, 2024

WI U-19s start Super Six with a victory

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West Indies U-19s began their Super Six Phase of the 2024 ICC Under-19 World Cup with a three wicket victory over Sri Lanka U-19 at the Diamond Oval in South Africa.

Sri Lanka U-19 elected to bat first and made 231 all out in their allotted 50 overs with Raneico Smith being the pick of the young West Indian bowlers with his impressive figures of 4-47. After appearing comfortable for the majority of the chase, West Indies U-19 faltered closer to the finish line but eventually finished on 232-7.

Nathan Edward picked up where he left off in the group stage with the ball, taking a wicket in the first over of the day to dismiss opener Vishen Halambage for nought. That early wicket brought Sineth Jayawardena to the crease but he didn’t last long either, Edwards again the perpetrator. 

Wickets fell at inopportune times for the subcontinent side but Dinura Kalupahana stood tall for his side with a composed half century to anchor the innings despite the troubles at the other end. Along with Malsha Tharupathi, he put together an important 50 run stand late in the innings. The all-rounder brought up his third fifty of the tournament during the partnership, but could not keep going till the end, and fell while trying to cut Sealy.

However, Tharupathi hit 42 from 38 balls to help Sri Lanka finish on 231.

In typical fashion, West Indies skipper Stephan Pascal began the chase with his foot firmly on the accelerator. Hitting five fours and a six in his 26-ball 33, he helped his side go at six an over during his stay. However, he was dismissed by Kalupahana when he attempted a loose drive but only succeeded in hitting it straight to Supan Waduge at backward point.

Eventual player of the match Steve Wedderburn proved to be integral to the chase. Having been dropped from the side after the loss to South Africa, Wedderburn scored a chanceless 61 which included five boundaries and three maximums to help his side secure the two points. The left hander combined with Jordan Johnson took control of the innings with their 86-run partnership to put West Indies in a strong position.

Sri Lanka would not go down without a fight though. In a span of nine balls, Wedderburn and Johnson were dismissed. That caused Nathan Edwards and Mavendra Dindyal to sink into their shells with 51 runs needed. However, Dindyal’s fall to Jayawardena changed the complexion of the chase. Sri Lanka kept fighting till the very last, picking crucial breakthroughs of Edward and Jewel Andrew in the last Powerplay. However, it was Sealy who helped West Indies seal a win with a fighting cameo.

His cameo of 27 runs was ably supported by Tarrique Edward in his 26-run stand for the eighth wicket.

West Indies U-19 now sit second in the Super Sixes, Group 2 with four points after three matches, the joint most in the group so far. Up next for the Boys in Maroon is a clash against Australia U-19 on Saturday February 2 at the Diamond Oval.

Summarised Scores

Game One:

Sri Lanka U-19 231 all out in 50 overs (Dinura Kalupahana 53, Malsha Tharupathi 42; Raneico Smith 4-47)

West Indies U-19 232-7 in 49.3 overs (Steve Wedderburn 61, Jordan Johnson 39; Dinura Kalupahana 2-39, Vishwa Lahiru 2-32)

West Indies U-19 won by three wickets

Game Two:

India U-19 295-8 in 50 overs (Musheer Khan 131, Adarsh Singh 52; Mason Clarke 4-62)

New Zealand U-19 81 all out in 28.1 overs (Oscar Jackson 19; Saumy Pandey 4-19, Musheer Khan 2-10)

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