Wins for Ireland, UAE and Zimbabwe in U-19 World Cup

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The ICC Men’s Under-19 Cricket World Cup got into full swing on Saturday with four matches across three nations in the Caribbean.

Four-time champions India edged a gripping Guyana clash against the 2014 winners South Africa as Yash Dhull and Vicky Ostwal starred to get their Caribbean campaign off to the perfect start.

And that was just one game on a jam-packed day of action, as Joshua Cox’s majestic unbeaten century fired Ireland to an opening game victory over Uganda and United Arab Emirates toppled Canada in Group A.

Zimbabwe powered past Papua New Guinea in Group C’s solitary Saturday fixture as the ICC U19 Men’s CWC – the undisputed international showpiece for the game’s newly-emerging talent – started to really hot up in West Indies.

Cox catapults Ireland to comfortable win over Uganda

Uganda delivered a valiant display of their ICC U-19 Men’s CWC credentials, but Cox’s first innings hundred proved the dollop of quality required to fire Ireland to victory in Georgetown.

After arriving at the crease with the score at 40 for two, wicketkeeper Cox compiled a superb 111 not out off 113 balls to haul his team up to a total of 236 for nine.

Two wickets apiece for Juma Miyaji, Pascal Murungi, Joseph Baguma and Matthew Musinguzi sought to reel the Irish in but ably assisted by Philippus le Roux (32), Cox put his team in a commanding position at the interval.

Ugandan captain Pascal Murungi offered the underdogs a consistent glimmer of hope in the run chase but his knock of 63, bolstered by bowler Juma Miyaji’s blockbuster 38 at number nine, proved insufficient in causing a Group B upset.

Left-arm spinner Matthew Humphries – who opened the bowling for Ireland – starred with the ball for Tim Tector’s team as his four wickets for just 25 runs helped halt the Ugandan momentum and cap a 39-run triumph.

Patel innings proves in vain as UAE edge over the line

Canada battled admirably in Basseterre but were unable to haul themselves to victory as UAE’s first innings score of 284 for seven proved enough.

Ali Naseer’s destructive 73 off just 50 balls did the damage for Alishan Sharafu’s side after Punya Mehra’s well-judged 71 had put the wheels in motion for a strong first innings total.

The Canadians had UAE reeling at 47-3 but Mehra, Nilansh Keswani (39) and Sharafu (37) helped them recover to 174 for five.

And then came all-rounder Naseer’s late innings pyrotechnics, as his brutal knock – at a strike rate of 146 – catapulted his team to a sizeable total.

Mihir Patel’s Canada rallied, however, with the captain leading from the front as his fine innings of 96 off 105 balls kept them continually in contention.

Wicketkeeper Anoop Chima (46) and lower-order batter Kairav Sharma (43) also offered resistance but two wickets each for Keswani, Sharafu, Adhitya Shetty and Jash Giyanani helped bowl Canada out for 235 to complete hard-fought 49-run victory.

Bawa brilliance lays foundations for dominant Zimbabwe triumph

Zimbabwe had too much firepower for Papua New Guinea as captain fantastic Emmanuel Bawa’s first innings century propelled them to victory in Port of Spain.

The Zimbabweans racked up a formidable total of 321 for nine from their 50 overs before a polished all-round bowling performance completed a comprehensive 228-run victory.

Papua New Guinea bowler Junior Morea dismissed opener Steven Saul early on but after Bawa entered the fray at 15 for one, he never looked back as his majestic hundred – off just 95 balls – helped haul his team to a match-winning score.

Bawa and David Bennett (58) compiled a century stand for the third wicket while opening batter and wicketkeeper Panashe Taruvinga (36), along with Victor Chirwa and Connor Mitchell – who both scored 35 – also made contributions.

And Barnabas Maha’s team never got going in response, with no batter mustering more than 15 runs as the wickets were shared equally among the Zimbabwean attack.

Ngenyasha Zvinoera, Brian Bennett and Victor Chirwa all took two scalps apiece as Bawa’s side bowled the underdogs out with 15 overs remaining to crank up for Monday’s clash with Pakistan in perfect fashion. (ICC)

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