A rapid, Man-of-the-Match century by stand-in West Indies U19 captain Matthew Nandu was enough to leave a hapless Papua New Guinea floundering in the plate quarterfinals of the ICC U19 World Cup in Diego Martin today.
And not content to have taken the opposition bowlers for 128 off only 134 balls and his team to a massive 317 for 7, Nandu also took 2/14 in the chase to also help restrict PNG to 148 all out, giving the WIU19s a comfortable 169-run win.
Having managed only 15 runs in his three previous group stage innings, the 18-year-old Guyanese opener perhaps welcomed both his leadership status and the presence of a live crowd today. And he seized the opportunity to put things right.
He and opening partner Shaqkere Parris (64 off 89, 8 x 4, 2 x 5) took a liking to the PNG bowling and were only separated in the 29th over with the score already reading 155.
So dominant was the allrounder on the day that while only two of the 10 sixes his side hit came off his bat, he alone scored full 15 of the fours, two more than the other seven batsmen.
And when PNG’s top-scorer Aue Oru (27*) and Patrick Nou (15) put on 37 for the sixth wicket, Nandu went to his right-arm off-breaks and eventually broke the defiant partnership, the largest of the innings. He also bowled Junior Morea with the first ball he faced to dig an even deeper hole for the already struggling batting side.
With a mountain to climb after winning the toss and opting to bowl first, PNG had the worst possible start to their chase, losing Ray to Nathan Edwards’ very first ball. And although Ray’s replacement, Peter Karoho, launched a brief counterattack, his resistance ended at 29 for 2 when Shiva Sankar struck him plumb in front.
Thorne would soon account for Ryan Ani via the same route as well as shatter PNG skipper Barnabas Maha’s stumps, more than half the team falling to bowler-only dismissals.
Rivaldo Clarke snapped up opener Christopher Kilapat off his namesake McKenny Clarke at 65 for 5 and at 102 for 6, Mahase caught Nou off Nandu before having Parris catch Katenalaki Singi off his bowling. Thorne would also effect a direct hit to dismiss number 11 Rasan Kevau and wrap up the innings at 148.
In at number three in the WI U19 innings, Teddy Bishop (15 off 23, 2 x 4) got only a few after Kevin Wickham, so impressive in his debut against Sri Lanka last week, helped himself to another half-century, putting on 107 with Nandu for the third wicket. But when Nandu was caught by Maha off Boio Ray, PNG’s best bowler, in the second-last over, a mini-collapse ensued.
Ray, who finished with respectable match figures of 8-0-43-3, claimed Clarke (R) for a first ball duck. And he needed only one ball more to account for Jordan Johnson for the same score.
When Mahase became the third batsman in the space of seven balls to be caught for a duck—Maha, not Ray, accounting for him—WI U19s had tumbled from 298 for 2 at one stage to 305 for six.
Wickham at the other end would have been relieved to see Clarke (M) thump two sixes off the remaining balls to leave him unbeaten on 61.
In another quarterfinal at the Vivian Richards Ground in Antigua today, England moved easily past South Africa by six wickets to become the first team into the Super League semifinal round.
Despite an excellent, measured half-century by the prolific Dewalt Brevis, England got their own whirlwind half-century from Jacob Bethell to overhaul the modest 209 for 9 posted by the South Africans.
Brevis, scorer of 104 vs Uganda, 96 vs Ireland and 65 vs India, fell just three runs short of a second century today.
After he took 61 balls to get to 50, he powered his way to 97 off just 88 balls to join India’s Shubman Gill, who also registered four half-centuries in four innings in the 2018 tournament.
But Brevis’ heroics were all in vain. Barbados–born Bethell was a man possessed, blasting four successive fours off Matthew Boast’s second over to take his personal tally to 32 off 12 balls.
Inspired, he took his team to 50 without loss off just 4.4 overs; at the same stage, South Africa had managed 11 for 1.
There was nothing South Africa captain George van Heerden could do to staunch the flow. After 10 overs, England had progressed to 104 without loss; compared to Bethell’s 83, his opening partner, George Thomas, had contributed 17!
After Bethell (88 off 42, 16 x 4, 2 x 6) departed, caught by Ethan-John Cunningham off Asakhe Tsaka, the pace of the innings inevitably slowed. The outcome, however, was never in doubt.
Dewalt added two scalps to his contribution with the bat to slow the inexorable English advance. But William Luxton stepped temporarily into Bethell’s shoes to get 47 off 41 and take the Tom Prest-led team into the semifinal.
The West Indies next play in the Plate semifinal at the Queen’s Park Oval on Friday.
Toss: Papua New Guinea
WIU19: 317 for 7 (Matthew.Nandu 128, Shaqkere Parris 64, Kevin Wickham 61*; Boio Ray 3/43)
PNG: 148 (Aue Oru 27*, Peter Karobo 21; Matthew Nandu 2/14, Isai Thorne 2/30, McKenny Clarke 2/34)
Man-of-the-Match: Matthew Nandu
Result: WIU19 win by 169 runs
WIU19 move on to Plate semifinal.