Tournament hosts West Indies picked up their first win with a demolition of Scotland at the ICC Men's U19 Cricket World Cup in the Caribbean. A ruthless bowling performance left the home side requiring just 96 to win, and they knocked off the target with ease.
Elsewhere there were some stunning individual performances as Sri Lanka beat Australia and Pakistan overpowered Zimbabwe. Here are the big talking points from day four of the World Cup.
WEST INDIES BEAT SCOTLAND BY SEVEN WICKETS
Sankar sets the tone
West Indies opening bowler Shiva Sankar found swing right from the off, so much so that his opening delivery hooped away for a big wide. But he soon managed to get that movement under control, and caused Scotland all sorts of problems, dismissing three of the top four to finish with figures of 3/17 off seven.
Two of those wickets came in consecutive balls, with an inswinger trapping Samuel Elstone plumb in-front before Thomas Mackintosh edged an outswinger to the slips for a golden duck. Sankar in this sort of form will trouble the very best at the tournament.
Fielding brilliance from the hosts
West Indies were excellent with the ball, but the fielding effort more than backed them up, with Teddy Bishop particularly outstanding.
The 18-year-old from Grenada produced two excellent slip catches, one cleverly juggled on the stretch and the other a very sharp take low to his right, underlining his side’s quality in the field.
And it wasn’t just Bishop who excelled in the field. Sankar followed up his three-wicket haul with a peach of a run-out to bring the Scotland innings to an end too, hitting the stumps from the deep after Oliver Davidson was sent back going for a risky second.
Promising bowling attack given too much to do
Scotland can take heart from their performance with the ball, but defending a total of 95 against a batting order as talented as the hosts’ was always going to be a tough ask and proved too much.
Looking to the future, Jack Jarvis backed up his good display with the ball in the first match with another steady spell, finishing with 1/19 off five. And although Oliver Davidson was expensive again, he did extract some dangerous turn and bounce from the surface in his 1/19 from four. Charlie Peet’s peach of a ball to clean bowl Shaqkere Parris will give the left-arm spinner something to remember from the tournament too.
SRI LANKA BEAT AUSTRALIA BY FOUR WICKETS
Sri Lanka have a big talent on their hands
There was plenty of chatter about the quality of Sri Lanka’s captain Dunith Wellalage prior to the tournament. And the opening two games have done little to disprove the hype surrounding the 19-year-old from Colombo.
The left-arm spinner’s five-wicket haul against Scotland in Sri Lanka’s opening victory of the tournament was impressive, but he stepped it up a level to outclass Australia in Basseterre.
The Aussies looked well-placed at 107/3 and with opener Campbell Kellaway at the crease with a half-century to his name. But Wellalage’s second spell saw him rip out three of Australia’s top seven in the space of just eight balls, including the dangerous Kellaway, to turn the match on its head.
And not content with one match-defining spell, Wellalage returned again to deny Australia a big finish, taking two wickets in the penultimate over to bag his second five-wicket haul of the tournament, 5/28.
A match-winner with the bat too
Not content with being the standout bowler on show, Sri Lanka skipper Wellalage top-scored in the run-chase from number five after his side’s top four had all fallen cheaply.
Sri Lanka lost three for nine runs in an extremely nervy six-over stretch to leave them needing something special from their middle order with 126 runs still required to win.
But Wellalage was more than up to the task, forming impressive partnerships with first Anjala Bandara and then Ranuda Somarathna to put Sri Lanka in complete control of the game.
The left-hander’s 52 off 71 balls took his side to the brink of victory, with his dismissal coming with just five runs still required, and the only sour note of the game for him personally was to not be out in the middle when the winning runs were scored.
Whitney backs up strong start
Australia didn’t have much to shout about in a disappointing overall showing, but opening bowler Tom Whitney again showed his great potential with a decent return.
The floppy-haired right-arm quick followed up his 3/20 in the opening game with another lively ten overs, clean bowling Sadisha Rajapaksa in a wicket maiden and going for just three runs in a three-over spell that put huge pressure on the Sri Lanka top order.
His figures of 2/39 off ten overs don’t reflect the quality of his bowling, and Scotland will have their work cut out keeping him at bay in their final group game at the Conaree Cricket Centre on Wednesday.
PAKISTAN BEAT ZIMBABWE BY 115 RUNS
Khan’s stunning century sets the standard
The quality glovework of Pakistan’s Haseebullah Khan has already seen him tipped for big things, but keeping skills alone are rarely enough. Thankfully for the Pakistan youngster he can also bat too, as he showed with a high-class century opening the batting against Zimbabwe in Trinidad.
Khan’s wonderful 135 off 155 balls featured ten fours and four sixes as he built his side a huge platform, falling with four overs remaining and 272 runs on the board.
The opener has just earmarked himself as one to watch for the remainder of the tournament.
Fabulous Falao shows class with five-wicket haul
Zimbabwe endured a tricky day in the field, but were given something to celebrate when right-arm seamer Alex Falao had Abbas Ali caught to complete an excellent five-for.
Falao had earlier taken the scalps of four of Pakistan’s top five, indicating that he’s a bowler with serious pedigree after being rested for the opening game against Papua New Guinea.
Quality bowling gives Zimbabwe pause for thought
Zimbabwe were dominant in their win over Papua New Guinea on the opening weekend, but will rue their overly-aggressive approach with the bat against Pakistan.
Against a quality bowling attack and facing a daunting total, Zimbabwe went on the offensive early and paid the price, slumping to 82/6 despite a solid opening stand.
Only two of the top eight progressed past 20, and the top order can perhaps reflect that they’d have been better placed getting themselves in against a high-calibre group of bowlers before teeing off.
As it was, only a sparkling 82 from all-rounder Brian Bennett spared Zimbabwe from a drubbing.
They can take those lessons into their final group game against Afghanistan in Trinidad, which could well be a head-to-head clash for Super League qualification.
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