The West Indies Rising Stars Under-19 Men’s team lost their opening match of the ICC Men’s U19 World Cup by 31 runs to home team South Africa in a thrilling encounter in Potchefstroom.
A brilliant century from Jewel Andrew was not enough to save the Rising Stars, as a top-order batting collapse left the Rising Stars well short of their 286-run target.
Winning the toss and sending the home team in to bat first, the Rising Stars prided themselves with a strong bowling attack. Opening batsman Lhuan-Dre Pretorius took charge with a flurry of boundaries, as South Africa looked anchored to set a formidable total, despite the losing a couple wickets.
Oliver Whitehead came in at number five, and after surviving a close call, helped South Africa rebuild their innings. Along with David Teeger, he added 48 runs for the fourth wicket. However, he was caught at mid-on after he tried to charge James down the wicket. Nathan Sealy struck twice in his ninth over, removing Romashan Pillay and the set Teeger to put West Indies ahead. Dewan Marais helped the skipper Juan James to settle in and the duo added crucial runs towards the end of the innings. Marais’ impressive fifty came off merely 33 balls. He finished as the innings top-scorer with 65 from 38. Nathan Sealy had the best bowling figures for the West Indies of 10-2-34-3.
In response, the Rising Stars found the going tough against the young Proteas. Left-arm pacer Kwena Maphaka ran through the top-order, picking Adrian Weir, Pascal and Joshua Dorne in the first 12 balls of his spell. An aggressive Jordan Johson tried to counter-attack but eventually fell to Riley Norton. At the end of 10 overs, the Rising Stars were scoring at a healthy pace of 7.3 but had lost five wickets.
Jewel Andrew and Nathan Sealy made their intentions clear by going for their shots, ensuring that West Indies moved ahead at a brisk pace. In the next 15 overs, the duo added nearly 100 runs to keep the Rising Stars side in the game. Andrew struck the first century of the tournament and just when it looked like the two had done enough to take the game away from South Africa, Sealy was run out from the deep by a direct hit at the score of 190 to add intrigue to the contest.
Andrew kept going with assistance from Tarrique Edward and Nathan Edward. However, Maphaka and Norton struck in the later overs to run through the West Indies lower order. Andrew’s dismissal on 130 off 96 deliveries which included three magnificent sixes and fourteen boundaries, all but sealed the game for the Proteas. The Rising Stars were all out for 254 in 40.1 overs. A match-winning bowling performance from Kwena Maphaka with figures of 9.1-1-38-5 earned him the Player of the Match Award.
The Rising Stars take on Scotland in their second match on 24 January. All matches start at 4am Eastern Caribbean/3am Jamaica time.
Fans in Caribbean can watch all the matches live on ESPN and access live ball-by-ball scoring here in the Windies Cricket match centre.