The West Indies Rising Stars ended their 2022 ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup campaign on a winning note today against Zimbabwe—their only win of the competition against a fellow Test-playing nation. However, the triumph was only enough for the host nation to secure 11th place among the 16 participating teams.
Having failed to finish among the top two in a group that included Australia and Sri Lanka, the junior West Indies team lost out on the chance to play for the second-tier Plate trophy when they fell to the United Arab Emirates by 82 runs last Friday at the Queen’s Park Oval in Port-of-Spain.
But they managed some consolation today in a fixture that remained alive until the final over, with WIU19 eventually clinching the contest by eight wickets.
Opener Teddy Bishop carried his bat to finish unbeaten on 112 (121 balls, 11 x 4, 1 x 6), while Kevin Wickham continued his fine tournament form with 104 runs (116 balls, 17 x 4)—after earlier knocks of 56, 61* and 22.
But it was a mixed bag for the hosts who, for the fourth time in six outings, could not bowl out their opponents. Twin brothers David Bennett (77* off 105, 7 x 4, 3 x 6) and Brian Bennett (62 off 84, 8 x 4) had the West Indies bowlers seeing double as Zimbabwe closed on 256 for 4 off their 50 overs.
In reply, captain Matthew Nandu was trapped lbw by Bennett (B) in the second over to leave the WIU19 1 for 1. But Bishop and Wickham put on a 194-run partnership for the second wicket to set the stage for a successful run chase.
Wickham, the 18-year-old Barbadian, was not in the initial team and was introduced after Covid-19 ruled out a handful of players. But he did not let the opportunity go to waste, producing a century and two half-centuries in his four innings in the competition.
It was a rare bright spark for the hosts.
West Indies lost to Australia, Sri Lanka and the UAE but had wins over Zimbabwe, Scotland and Papua New Guinea. Only the last two nations were dismissed under 50 overs.
It meant a tough introduction to international cricket for the teenagers, who are coached by Floyd Reifer.
The race for the Under-19 Cricket World Cup trophy continues tomorrow with England and Afghanistan playing in the first semifinal at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua, while, on Wednesday, Australia and India square off in the second semi at the Coolidge Cricket Ground on the same island.
Zimbabwe: 256 for 4 (David Bennett 77*, Brian Bennett 62; Johann Layne 2/44, Giovonte Depeiza 1/42)
West Indies: 257 for 2 (Teddy Bishop 112*, Kevin Wickham 104; Brian Bennett 1/31, Matthew Schonken 1/38)
Result: West Indies win by eight wickets (with four balls remaining)