Benoni, South Africa – The West Indies U19 Rising Stars are a victory away from their second World Cup semi-final in four years when they lock horns with New Zealand in the 2020 ICC U19 Cricket World Cup Quarter-Final at Willowmore Park Main Oval on Wednesday January 29 at 10 am local time (4 am Eastern Caribbean Time/3 am Jamaica time).
West Indies U19 Head Coach Graeme West is hoping to use his experience from the 2016 U19 World Cup to help the young West Indies team maintain their form which resulted in them going unbeaten to win Group B.
“It’s all about focusing on the next game and we can’t think further ahead than that. In 2016 we came through the group stages as runner up and Pakistan were hot favourites to progress to the semi-final. This time around expectations are much greater having beaten both England and Australia,” said West to CWI Media.
“The team has performed well in all departments but the coaching team have identified small areas where we can be better and more efficient.
“In the last couple of days our preparation has been designed to address these areas and maintain all the things that have worked well, we have studied our opponents but we know we must be focused on the personal and collective objectives that the players have.”
West further highlighted that the group games against England and Australia could aid the team ahead of the New Zealand clash.
“It’s quite ironic that given the amount of Asian teams in tournament playing well that we haven’t come up against anyone of them as yet,” said West
He continued: “Given the conditions and climate in New Zealand they naturally share some of the methods that both Australia and England would have employed, given their performances so far in the tournament they will provide a very stern test, they are outstanding in the field and have a very positive batting line up.
“It’s a warning for us in terms of the approach they have. We are going to have to match and find ways to combat that and ultimately play our brand of cricket which has been very successful so far.”
The winner of this quarter-final will face either hosts South Africa or Bangladesh in the semi-final on February 6th in Potchefstroom.
OPTA FACTS FROM ICC MEDIA ZONE
West Indies v New Zealand
- West Indies and New Zealand have faced off four times before at ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup, both sides winning two games apiece; the last two encounters at the tournament between these teams have been won by the Windies however (2012 & 2018).
- West Indies have managed to register victories in 11 of their last 14 ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup outings (L3); one of those defeats came against New Zealand (2018).
- New Zealand have alternated between victory and defeat across their last six ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup matches playing in South Africa; they suffered a 44-run loss against India last time out.
- Kimani Melius (78) was involved in a 123-run opening stand with Keagan Simmons (92*) for West Indies when they last took on New Zealand at this tournament (2018); Melius heads into this contest having scored 65 at the top of the order against Nigeria in their final ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup 2020 group game.
- Rhys Mariu (New Zealand) comes into this game against West Indies having posted scores of at least 42 in all three of his ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup 2020 innings so far; logging 51 (v Japan), 86 (v Sri Lanka) and 42 (v India)
Team Management – Graeme West (Head Coach), Kenny Benjamin (Assistant Coach), Dwain Gill (Manager), Dinesh Mahabir (Analyst), Khevyn Williams (Physiotherapist), Martin Gallyer (Strength & Conditioning Coach), Julian Fountain (Fielding Coach)