ST. JOHN’S, Antigua – West Indies U19s defeated Sri Lanka U19s by 7 runs on match-day eight of the West Indies Rising Stars U19 Tri-Series, at the Coolidge Cricket Ground in Antigua.
After losing the toss and being asked to bat first, West Indies U19 captain Kimani Melius started his team’s batting innings with intent and purpose, the focus on a winning result. He smashed the opening Sri Lanka bowlers for a mammoth six then a boundary to get the scoring started. Racing to 11 off just 5 deliveries he was caught, putting a speed bump in the West Indies innings. His opening partner Mbeki Joseph did not last much longer as he was caught behind for 5 off a delivery that rose off the surface and enticed him to slash at it.
After the quick fall of these two wickets, Leonardo Julien looked set to rebuild not only the team’s innings but to add runs to his personal tally, which in the last two matches have been difficult for him. Kirk McKenzie perished for a 12-ball 8 with the score on 41/3 in 6.4 overs. Julien looked set to get himself in the runs, as the struck two fours, but Ashian Daniel trapped him LBW for 19, leaving the West Indies U19s tottering on 47/4 after 8 overs.
Kevlon Anderson who has been the rock of the middle order carried on his patient and timely batting. An innings-rebuilding partnership with Matthew Patrick provided scoring stability before Anderson fell for 17, with the score on 84 in the twenty-second over.
Then came the partnership that ensured the young men in maroon reach the 200-run marker before the close of their innings. Patrick was joined by second-time ICC U19 World Cup-bound Nyeem Young and the pair showed their mental toughness with the team in a precarious scoreboard position.
Quick running between the wickets for singles and twos, combined with 4-fours from Patrick and a pair of sixes and boundaries from Young, saw both youngsters reach their first half-centuries for the tri-series. With the partnership on 85, Patrick was the first to go, stumped for 57. Young then added 20 runs with Jayden Seales before he was bowled for 55.
The West Indies U19s finished their innings on 207/9 from their 50 overs. Patrick and Young top scoring with 57 and 55 respectively. Amshi De Silva was the best bowler for Sri Lanka, finishing with 5/44 from his 10 overs, Kavindu Nadeeshan was next best with 2/40 from 10 overs.
In their run chase, Sri Lanka’s innings got a blow in the first over when Matthew Forde had Navod Paranavithana caught behind off the first ball. They then lost two more quick wickets when Ravindu Rasantha and Ahan Wickramasinghe fell for 2 and 1 respectively to leave Sri Lanka’s innings in peril on 8/3 after 4.1 overs.
In came the in-form captain Nipun Dananjaya and together with wicketkeeper Kamil Mishara rebuilt their team’s innings and run-chase. The pair rotated the strike taking the singles and twos when the West Indies were slow in the field, by doing this they took the score to 107 before Mishara fell for 50, Ashmead Nedd the bowling breaking the 50-run partnership.
Sonal Dinusha then joined his captain the pair looked set to take Sri Lanka to the 208- run target. However, Matthew Forde was reintroduced into the bowling attack and almost immediately accounted for Dananjaya’s wicket for 74. Nyeem Young then wrapped up three quick wickets of Dinusha, Lakshan Damage and Amshi de Silva for 45, 8 and 0 respectively.
Sri Lanka finished their innings on 200/8 from their 50 overs, with Sudeera Thilakaratne not out on 0. Matthew Forde was the pick of the West Indies U19s bowlers, finishing with figures of 3/29, followed by Nyeem Young with 4/48.
Speaking after the match, Head Coach Graeme West said, “It’s nice to finish the series on a positive note, also to turn around the result from Saturday after that heavy defeat against the same playing eleven, it’s pleasing. We spoke a lot after the last game, so it’s good to see some of the things we discussed work out in the middle and good to see some of our players perform under pressure and perform well. And our bowling unit got it done today.”
For full scorecard, please visit https://www.windiescricket.com/matches/203635/