West Indies folds for 104 to slip to a 94-run defeat at the Under19 World Cup
Rabada made South Africa’s 199 for 8 look like a monumental score as West Indies was beaten by his sheer pace and accuracy. Right-arm paceman, Rabada, finished with figures of 3 for 14 off eight overs as West Indies was bowled out for 104 in 35.2 overs. And with the 94-run victory in its first Group C match at the Under19 World Cup, South Africa pocketed two points and got its campaign off to a flying start.
After Tagenarine Chanderpaul was unlucky to be run-out off the first ball of the innings without facing a delivery, Rabada got one to slant across Shimron Hetmyer and Dirk Bruwer took a smart catch at second slip. In his next over, he tempted Jonathan Drakes to go for a drive but the resultant inside edge went to Clyde Fortuin behind the stumps.
Jeremy Solozano and Nicolaas Pooran hung on for a bit before Solozano, who faced 20 balls to score one run, was beaten by Rabada’s pace and lost his stumps. By the time Ngazibini Sigwili changed ends to give Rabada a break, his spell of 6-3-9-3 had knocked the stuffing out of the West Indies chase.
If Rabada was pacy, Justin Dill made a mark with his accuracy. With West Indies on the back foot, Dill picked up two wickets within five runs. Pooran, who was hit on his helmet by a Rabada bouncer earlier, gave Bruwer his second catch of the afternoon at second slip and then Fabian Allen was caught behind.
With West Indies at 30 for 6 and with only one of the top six having reached double figures, South Africa had clearly stamped its authority on the proceedings. Ramaal Lewis, the West Indies captain, tried to revive the innings with a 49-run stand with Gudakesh Motie, before Corbin Bosch had the measure of Lewis with a quick straight delivery.
It would have taken a brave man to bet on South Africa at the break though.
West Indies, that decided to field on a chilly morning, started the day on a high. Jerome Jones and Ray Jordan made excellent use of the early morning conditions and made the new ball work in its favour.
Jordan, who picked up both the openers, was particularly impressive with his nagging length. He had Aiden Markram edging an away going delivery to second slip, and Fortuin, who had impressed during the warm-ups, top-edged a pull for Jordan to take a well-judged high catch off his own bowling.
Preston McSween, Motie and Lewis followed Jones and Jordan into the attack, and all of them were equally effective and West Indies remained on top despite its fielders dropping two easy catches.
There was a period of play when there was no boundary scored for 69 balls and it was matter of time before something gave. Off-spinner, Lewis, benefitted. Jason Smith, whose 73-ball innings was a hard graft, gifted his wicket away, hitting a rank half-tracker straight to Motie at short midwicket. After that, Gregory Oldfield was beaten in the flight to be stumped for 38.
What followed next was utter chaos when lack of communication between Yaseen Valli and other batsmen at the centre combined with some sharp throwing led to three run-outs in the space of 3.4 overs.
Just when it looked like as if South Africa would be bundled out in quick time, Valli made up for having been involved in the run-outs, bringing out his A game and, in an innings that was cheeky as well as calculative, took the attack to the West Indies camp.
Valli added 62 runs with Dill – the highest ever ninth-wicket partnership for South Africa at this level – to put the game back in the balance. What helped the partnership was the sudden change in the plan of attack with the West Indians bowling more of the shorter stuff to the two.
Finally, in the 48th over, Valli was trapped lbw when he failed to execute a cross-batted shot off McSween after scoring 53 in 57 balls. Valli’s 53 and Dill’s unbeaten 34 ensured that South Africa batted out its full quota of overs and set the stage for Rabada to walk away with the honors in the second-half.