The West Indies claimed their second victory from two matches in the U-19 World Cup yesterday, as they cruised to victory against England in Kimberley.
Batting first, Kimani Melius’ side were able to put up an imposing total of 267-7, which England were rarely in danger of chasing down, falling short by 71 runs. The backbone of the first innings total was an excellent performance for top order batsman Kevlon Anderson, the 19 year old from Guyana striking an unbeaten 86 from 105 balls to lay the template for the West Indies win.
Anderson, coming in at No.3, demonstrated impressive ability when hitting in front of square on the legside, scoring a half-century (51) of runs in that region alone. The offside was broadly neglected, with just 14 of his runs coming there, but Anderson’s method proved difficult for the England attack to dislodge.
In particular, he scored with real intent against the seamers. The 56 balls they sent down to him went for exactly 56 runs, a brisk scoring rate of exactly at a run-a-ball. Against the spinners he went at a rather more controlled 3.67rpo, despite attacking more frequently against them – 47% of the time, compared to 41% against the spinners.
However, it was the way he constructed his innings which really stood out. Starting slowly and securely, Anderson attacked just a quarter of his deliveries in the first 30 balls at the crease. Once settled, he then stepped things up a gear and attacked just under half of his deliveries for the next 60 balls. With the platform laid, he proceeded to go right up through the gears and attacked just under 90% of his deliveries, laying waste to the England bowling unit as the innings drew to a close. It was an exemplary, mature display of white ball batting.
Towards the end of the West Indies effort however, he wasn’t doing it alone. Nyeem Young, the all-rounder who had performed admirably against the Australians in the previous match, had another crucial part to play in this victory with bat and ball. With the former, he was able to capitalise on the good work of Anderson, clobbering a remarkable 66 (41) to lift the Windies total well over 250 and into the zone that they could comfortably defend.
Young, 19 years old but physically imposing, showed real skill through the legside, scoring 43 of his runs on that side of the field. He attacked 75% of his deliveries, a figure bettered by no other batsman to face more than five balls in the match. There was a level of intensity and effectiveness to Young’s hitting which was a cut above the majority in the contest, and whilst he maintained his high run rate against all the bowlers, it was against the seamers where he really came into his own. The Bajan all-rounder took England’s seamers for 50 runs from 26 deliveries, a whopping scoring rate of 11.53rpo.
Young also then came to star with ball in hand, taking 5-45 in just nine overs to guarantee that his work in the first innings of the day would not go unrewarded. The situation certainly helped him, as with the required rate rising and wickets beginning to tumble, England were forced to go hard at Young, attacking 56% of his deliveries, the most of any bowler in the match. As such, chances were always going to come, and with thanks to a few smart catches from Matthew Forde, Young was able to close things out, and see the Caribbean youngsters home.
West Indies now sit top of the table in Group B, with their one remaining group game against Nigeria on Thursday.