U-19 World Cup: West Indies start title defence with defeat
SUMMARY: New Zealand Under-19 234 for 2 (Allen 115*, Bhula 83) beat West Indies Under-19 233 for 8 (Simmons 92, Melius 78, Ravindra 3-30, Fisher 3-61) by eight wickets.
Rachin Ravindra and Finn Allen, two men who were part of New Zealand’s disastrous Under-19 World Cup campaign two years ago in Bangladesh where they finished tenth, opened the 2018 edition at home with stirring displays.
West Indies, the defending champions, slumped to a eight-wicket defeat at Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui, the manner in which they collapsed reminiscent of their seniors, who endured a winless tour of New Zealand not too long ago.
Ravindra picked three wickets with his left-arm spin while Allen, the No. 3 batsman, brought up a counter-attacking 92-ball century, his first in youth ODIs, as New Zealand cruised home with plenty to spare.
Allen, who was unbeaten on 115, forged a second-wicket stand worth 163 with Jakob Bhula, who made 83. Ravindra’s dismissal for 16, flashing at a short and wide delivery that he nicked to the wicketkeeper off Ronaldo Alimohamed, was the only blot in an otherwise ruthless display.
A hint of rain and a thick cloud cover made conditions ideal for West Indies’ pacers to exploit. But they sprayed the ball all over the pitch. Their sloppiness on the field didn’t help either. What could’ve been an intense contest turned rather cold halfway through the chase.
Allen was strong square of the wicket, but his use of the sweep against spin was particularly impressive as he chugged along consistently at over a run-a-ball. Bhula, slightly more circumspect to begin with, grew in confidence but fell to a tame caught-and-bowled dismissal with the target within touching distance. Allen then saw off the chase with captain Kaylum Boshier just as rain started to spit down.
While Allen polished off the runs, it was Ravindra who broke West Indies’ back after their openers Kimani Melius and Keagan Simmons, nephew of batsman Lendl Simmons, put together 123 in 27.2 overs to set a solid platform.
Ravindra, who cleverly varied his pace and use of his angles, finished with 3-30 off seven overs as West Indies, handily placed at 149-2, were restricted to 223-8 in 50 overs. Simmons, who battled through the innings and looked set for his maiden youth ODI century, was left unbeaten on 92.
Three other games were played on the opening day. Below are the summarised scores.
Darwish Rasooli struck an unbeaten 78-ball 76 to lead Afghanistan to victory in their opening match of the Under-19 World Cup, beating Pakistan by five wickets. SUMMARY: Afghanistan Under-19 194-5 (Rasooli 76*, Khil 46) beat Pakistan U-19 188 (Nazir 81, Omarzai 3-34, Ahmad 3-38) by five wickets.
Papua New Guinea threw away a solid start by losing all of their wickets for only 54 runs as their Under-19 World campaign began with a 10-wicket drubbing at the hands of Zimbabwe in Lincoln. SUMMARY: Zimbabwe Under-19 98-0 (Madhevere 53*, Dollar 41*) beat Papua New Guinea 95 (Mahuru 26, Madhevere 3-19, Shumba 2-19) by 10 wickets.
Saif Hassan, the Bangladesh Under-19 captain, ensured his team got off to a winning start despite the complications of a rain-shortened match in Lincoln. He struck a blistering 84 off 48 balls – with a whopping five sixes. SUMMARY: Bangladesh Under-19s 190-4 (Hasan 84, Naim 60) beat Namibia Under-19s 103 (van Wyk 55, Mahmud 2-12, Onik 2-14) by 87 runs.