Windies U-19 coach Graeme West insists the team must find a way to match New Zealand’s intensity as they prepare to face off in the quarterfinal of the ICC Under-19 World Cup, at the Willowmoore Park in Benoni on Wednesday.  

Both teams will enter the match-up at opposite ends of the spectrum so to speak.  While the West Indies have looked in splendid form after wins over Nigeria, Australia and England, New Zealand barely made their way into the final eight. The Kiwis managed just a solitary win in three games.  After no play was possible in their first fixture against Japan, due to rain, New Zealand defeated Sri Lanka but we then defeated by India.  Despite the differences in results to date, West insists the Caribbean team is taking nothing for granted.

“Most of the performances last week were very pleasing but now we are in the knockout stage and it’s about your performance in the last three games of the tournament, rather than the first three games,” West said.

“Certainly, New Zealand are always a very competitive team outstanding in the field and quite creative in terms of their batting and their bowling.  They played a reduced overs game against India and at one point they were 100 for 1 off 10 overs with their positive intent at the top of the order.  They fell away as spinners took hold but certainly it’s a warning to us in terms of the approach that they have and we’re going to have to match that.”

West Indies U19 Head Coach, Graeme West is backing the young team to show the qualities they have developed in the last year, when they bowl off their ICC U19 Cricket World Cup campaign against three-time tournament winners Australia in Zone B at the De Beers Diamond Oval in Kimberley on Saturday, January 18.

The team is gaining confidence after wins in the two warm-up games against Canada and Scotland. All 15 players are fit and available for selection as the team begins their preparations for the opening group game against Australia.

West provided a detailed account of the team’s work as they prepare to start the ICC U19 World Cup which West Indies famously won in 2016.

“The two warm-up games were certainly competitive and provided all squad members with opportunities to demonstrate their skills and show that they had made the necessary adjustments to the conditions and wickets to be effective,” said West.

“The Scotland performance was an improvement on the Canada game when Nyeem Young and Antonio Morris batted superbly to turn the game around.

“The bowling unit was slightly below par against Canada given how well they have performed since the Tri-Series in December, but on Wednesday against Scotland we were far more controlled and disciplined.”

West said the most pleasing aspect of the Scotland game was the contribution from the top four batters, who needed time in the middle.

“Kevlon Anderson’s hundred was well-paced as he mixed good strike rotation with some power hitting. Captain Kimani Melius and Leonardo Julien set the tempo for the innings with run-a-ball half-centuries on a wicked that was well suited to their stroke play and positive intent,” West said.

“We are well aware of the quality Australia and England possess  and both games will provide great opportunities for our players to demonstrate the learning that has taken place over the last year, we know we will have to produce a perfect performance to beat both sides.”

He urged the West Indies fans to support the young team as they seek to emulate the title-winning class of 2016.

 “They know the importance of the tournament and the stage they are about to perform on and we would love to have everyone supporting and following us. The boys will be doing everything they can to make their friends, families and all the Windies Cricket fans proud,” he said.

 

An unbeaten last wicket partnership between Sonal Dinusha and Amshi De Silva propelled Sri Lanka to a nail-biting, one-wicket victory over West Indies in day three action of Rising Stars U19 Tri-Series.

On another difficult batting wicket, Sri Lanka sent West Indies in to bat after winning the toss and immediately their bowlers made life difficult for the hosts.

West Indies plummeted to 67/7 in the 34th over, with new ball bowler Amshi De Silva (6-1-18-3) and leg-spinner Kavindu Nadeeshan (10-1-20-4) being the bowling architects of this batting demise.

Kelvon Anderson (43) alongside useful cameos from lower-order batsmen Ashmead Nedd (21) and Jayden Seales (23) resisted and enabled West Indies to stretch the inning to the final over to take the West Indies to 138.

For the third game in a row, West Indies bowlers stepped up to the plate.

Led by left-arm quick Ramon Simmonds (8-1-31-3) impressing with his pace and bounce, they fought back bravely as Sri Lanka collapsed to 101 for 9.

However, Ashmi De Silva (10) coming off his efforts with the ball joined Sonal Dinusha (46) and the pair’s unbeaten last-wicket stand denied the West Indies.

“We believe our bowling unit is one of the areas that is firing for us. We said to them (the bowlers) the wicket is not easy to score on, so once we hit good areas and put our shoulders to the throttle we could have brought this game home”, said West Indies U19 bowling coach Kenny Benjamin.

“When we look back at the game the extra-wide deliveries  that were given away and not being able to score another 20-25 runs are areas we all have to improve on.”

 

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.