WEST Indies Under-19s will seek to keep their unbeaten record against their New Zealand counterparts at 6:30 pm today in a quarter-final match of the ICC Under-19 World Cup in Endeavour Park, Townsville in Queensland, Australia.
Graigg Brathwaite and Kyle Mayers, with batting averages of 91.00 and 73.00 runs, respectively, from three matches, will spearhead the young West Indies attack.
A right-handed batsman, Brathwaite will try to become the ninth batsman and first West Indian to score a century in this World Cup. The Barbadian already has two centuries and seven halfcenturies from 19 matches at this level. He was not out four times, to boast an overall batting average of 57.66.
Mayers, a left-handed batsman and also a Barbadian, has yet to hit a century in Under-19 ODIs. His highest score is 98 not out, having played 12 innings. He was three times not out, to have a batting average of 41.33 runs.
The West Indies posted their first win over New Zealand in the McDonald’s Bicentennial Youth World Cup on February 29, 1988 when skipper Brian Lara, run out for 64, steered the regional team to a 34-run win at Wentworth Oval in Victoria, Australia.
Brenton Parchment (57) and Marlon Samuels (36) guided the Caribbean youngsters to their other victory over the Kiwis at the Nondescripts Cricket Club Ground in Colombo, Sri Lanka on January 20, 2000.
In the current Under-19 World Cup, left-arm medium pacer Jerome Jones, also of Barbados, leads the wickettaking for West Indies with seven, ahead of Mayers on six.
South African Quinton de Kock is the leading run-getter so far in the current tournament with 233 runs, ahead of countryman Chad Bowes, 225 runs. No other batsman has aggregated more than 200 runs.
England’s 6ft-5in Reece Topley leads with most wickets of 11 from four matches. Three other players, Ashton Turner of Australia, Ruaidhri Smith of Scotland, and Sayed Shirzad of Afghanistan, have taken nine wickets.
The West Indies’s best showing in the ICC Under-19 World Cup was in 2004 in Bangladesh when Pakistan beat the Denesh Ramdin-led team by 25 runs in the final on March 4 at the Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka.