Young Windies open Youth World Cup with victory
TOWNSVILLE, Australia (CMC) — West Indies Under-19s twice recovered from critical setbacks to complete a nervy run chase and beat two-time former champions India Under-19s by four wickets in their opening match of the Youth World Cup here yesterday.
Set a paltry 167 for victory, West Indies stumbled to 13 for two and then 75 for four, before steadying themselves to reach their target with 17 balls left in the encounter at the Tony Ireland Stadium.
Left-hander Anthony Alleyne was at the heart of the recovery with 52 while Kyle Mayers topped off a fine all-round performance with a brisk 43 to earn the Man-of-the-Match honour.
Left-arm spinner Harmeet Singh took three for 35 while pacer Sandeep Sharma grabbed two for 27.
Earlier, fast bowlers Ronsford Beaton (3-23) and Jerome Jones (2-23) dismantled India after they were sent in, with Mayers chipping in with two for 35 with his medium pace.
They slumped to 91 for five and needed Smit Patel's 51 down the order to stage a recovery.
Left-armer Jones claimed opener Prashant Chopra for one to the ninth ball of the morning at four for one and new ball partner Beaton had number three Baba Aparajith caught behind for five soon afterward, to leave India on 16 for two in the ninth over.
When Jones bowled Hanuma Vihari for eight and Mayers entered the attack to knock over opener and captain Unmukt Chand for 22 in the 20th over at 50 for four, the Windies had a stranglehold on the game.
Patel then stabilised the innings with two crucial partnerships, adding 41 for the fifth wicket with Vijay Zol, who scored 26 and a further 44 for the sixth wicket with Akshdeep Nath (19).
Wicketkeeper Patel faced 99 balls and struck five.
West Indies were off to a horrid start in their run chase, as seamer Sandeep Sharma removed both openers with just 13 on the board.
Sunil Ambris fell in the third over for four before captain and Test batsman Kraigg Brathwaite was bowled after labouring 26 balls over four.
However, Alleyne and the aggressive John Campbell, who stroked 36, averted disaster with a 58-run third wicket stand.
Alleyne counted two fours and a six off 91 balls while the left-handed Campbell cracked a four and a six in an innings that lasted 70 balls.
Left-arm spinner Harmeet Singh then turned the game on its head, prising out Campbell and Kavem Hodge (1) in successive overs to leave the Young Windies in a spot of bother at 75 for four in the 28th over.
Alleyne once again was at the centre of another rescue effort, partnering with Mayers to add 58 for the fifth wicket and put West Indies in sight of victory.
The left-handed Mayers struck four fours and a six off just 54 balls was the last wicket to fall in the 44th over with his side 13 runs away from victory.