Reigning champions West Indies start as favourites in this Plate quarter-final encounter.
West Indies emerged as winners of the tournament in the last ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup in 2016, but it is the Plate competition for them this time around after finishing third in Group A. The Windies are taking on a rejuvenated Ireland side on Tuesday 23 January at the Bert Sutcliffe Oval in Lincoln.
Ireland ended their group games with a thrilling win over Afghanistan that was masterminded by their captain, Harry Tector, who bowled brilliantly to claim 3/37 in a four-run victory. However, sizeable defeats in their first two matches against Sri Lanka and Pakistan saw them finish in last place in Group D.
For West Indies, much of the talk has been about the Obstructing the Field dismissal they enacted against South Africa rather the quality of their cricket, as the current ICC U19 CWC holders failed to qualify for the Super League quarter-finals. Their one win in the group stages came against Kenya, where 116 not out from Alick Athanaze set up a 222-run victory. Defeats against New Zealand and South Africa saw them finish third in their group.
Players to watch
Jamie Grassi (Ire)
His team's leading run-scorer, and the only Irish batsmen with more than 100 runs. The majority of those came against Sri Lanka, where his 75 was a fine effort but not enough to prevent a defeat for his side. That is the only half-century Ireland have managed in the tournament so far and if they are going to win against West Indies they will more than likely need runs from the right-handed opener.
Bhaskar Yadram (WI)
The leading wicket-taker for West Indies in the tournament so far is Yadram, who has six wickets with his medium-pace bowling. Five of those came in his most recent game, the defeat of Kenya, where he claimed 5/18 as the opposition were bowled out for just 96. His ability to get the ball to wobble around could be very telling against Ireland in this match.
World Cup history
Ireland have made seven appearances at the ICC U19 CWC over the years, going back to 1998 when they made their debut in South Africa. Their highest finish of 10th came in New Zealand in 2010. They played the 2016 tournament only because Australia withdrew, and ended the campaign in 13th spot.
In Bangladesh two years ago, West Indies saw off India in a tense final to win the tournament for the first time. The best they had fared till then was in 2004, when they were runners-up to Pakistan. From that 2016 title-winning side, the likes of Shimron Hetmyer and Alzarri Joseph have graduated to the senior level.
Head to head
These two have met twice before at the ICC U19 CWC, with West Indies emerging victorious on both occasions. The first of those matches in 2004 featured a number of players that went on to play full internationals. The Irish side included Eoin Morgan, William Porterfield, Kevin O’Brien and Boyd Rankin, while West Indies were led by Denesh Ramdin and featured Lendl Simmons in the middle order.
It will be a warm and sunny day in Lincoln on Tuesday with a top temperature of 27°C with a smattering of cloud cover. There is a 10% chance of rain so the likelihood of a full day’s play is very good.
Ireland: Harry Tector (c), Ian Anders, Aaron Cawley, Varun Chopra, Mark Donegan, JJ Garth, Jamie Grassi, Reece Kelly, Graham Kennedy, Josh Little, Sam Murphy, Max Neville, Neil Rock, Morgan Topping, Andrew Vincent
West Indies: Emmanuel Stewart (c), Kirstan Kallicharan, Ronaldo Alimohamed, Alick Athanaze, Cephas Cooper, Jarion Hoyte, Kimani Melius, Ashmead Nedd, Kian Pemberton, Brad Barnes (replaced injured Raymond Perez), Joshua Persaud, Jeavor Royal, Keagan Simmons, Bhaskar Yadram, Nyeem Young
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