PIETERMARITZBURG, South Africa (CMC) – Opener Bhaskar Yadram struck a critical half-century but West Indies Under-19 were forced to overcome a late innings slump before pulling off a two-wicket win over South Africa Under-19s in the second Youth One-Day International on Wednesday in South Africa.
Set a modest 208 for victory, the Young Windies were coasting along at 165 for three in the 39th over but suffered a collapse where five wickets tumbled for 35 runs in the space of 31 balls.
Tottering on 200 for eight in the 44th, the Caribbean side were rescued by the lion-hearted Jeavor Royal who ended unbeaten on 31 off 17 deliveries, to take the team over the line.
Yadram had earlier top-scored with 81 off 116 balls while captain Emmanuel Stewart chipped in with 45 off 69 balls.
Sixteen-year-old fast bowler Gerald Coetzee led the attack with two for 55.
The South Africans had been limited to 207 for eight off their 50 overs, after opting to bat first at City Oval, with wicketkeeper Wandile Makwetu top-scoring with 53 and openers Matthew Breetzke (37) and Jiveshan Pillay (36) playing supporting roles.
Left-arm spinner Joshua Bishop claimed two for 30 from his 10 overs while Royal, also a left-arm spinner, laid the groundwork for his eventual all-round display with two for 34.
The hosts got a healthy start from Breetzke and Pillay, the pair adding 81 for the first wicket before Royal’s introduction triggered a collapse where four wickets perished for nine runs in the space of 38 deliveries.
Rocking on 90 for four, South Africa’s innings was repaired by Makwetu who faced 68 balls and counted four fours, while adding 38 for the fifth wicket with Hermann Rolfes (19), 25 for the seventh with Coetzee (7) and 23 for the ninth with Kenan Smith (19 not out).
The 17-year-old Yadram then gave the visitors a solid start, putting on 43 for the first wicket with Keagan Simmons (14) and a further 75 with Stewart for the second wicket.
Yadram struck eight fours and a six while Stewart counted five fours in his knock. They were separated when Stewart was run out in the 31st over and nine balls later Cephas Cooper was lbw to Coetzee for two, to leave the Windies on 122 for three in the 33rd over.
The right-handed Yadram found an ally in Kirstan Kallicharan, who made 21, to add 43 for the fourth wicket and put Windies on course again.
However, once Yadram perished in the 39th over, the innings went into a tail-spin before Royal arrived on his rescue mission which included five fours and a six. He lashed leg-spinner Jade de Klerk for a four and a six in the 44th over which cost 10 runs and punched two boundaries in the 45th from Coetzee, to finish the game emphatically.
The five-match series is tied 1-1, with the next game scheduled for Friday at the same venue.