The eagerly anticipated U19 World Cup 2024 kicked off on January 19 with an exciting doubleheader. Hosts South Africa faced West Indies in one match, while the United States squared off against Ireland in the other.
The game between the USA and Ireland was a decidedly one-sided affair, with the Irish side emerged victorious by 7 wickets. On the other hand, the clash between South Africa and West Indies proved to be a thrilling spectacle.
Ultimately, the hosts secured a 31-run victory in a closely contested match, overcoming a Caribbean star’s outstanding counterattacking innings. This win marked a stylish start to South Africa’s campaign in the tournament.
Batters take South Africa to a formidable total
After winning the toss, Windies skipper Stephan Pascal chose to field first. South Africa went on to amass a total of 285/9 in their allocated 50 overs. Dewan Marais emerged as the top-scorer, showcasing a brilliant half-century by scoring 65 off 38 balls, which included 4 fours and an equal number of sixes.
The remaining batters also made substantial contributions to ensure that South Africa reached a formidable total. Opener Lhuan-dre Pretorius contributed 40 off 34 balls, David Teeger scored 44 off 98 deliveries, and captain Juan James added 47 runs off 54 balls with crucial knocks. Nathan Sealy stood out as the standout bowler for West Indies, claiming a three-wicket haul for 34 runs in his allotted 10 overs. Deshawn James (2/38) and Nathan Edwards (2/63) also secured two wickets each.
Jewel Andrew’s dazzling ton goes in vain
In reply, West Indies faced a rocky start, losing half of their side for a mere 73 runs within the first 10 overs. With the odds stacked against them, Jewel Andrew stepped up to the plate for a rescue mission. The wicketkeeper-batter displayed excellent form and punished the South African bowlers with dazzling strokeplay.
Teaming up with Sealy, the duo forged an impressive partnership of 117 runs for the sixth wicket. Just when it seemed they were gaining control, the balance shifted as Sealy was run out from the deep with a direct hit at 190, injecting suspense into the contest. Sealy departed after a well-constructed innings, scoring 33 runs from 55 balls.
Kwena Maphaka shines with a 5-fer
Andrew persevered with assistance from Tarrique Edward and Nathan. Nevertheless, in the latter stages, Kwena Maphaka and Martin Norton made crucial breakthroughs, dismantling the West Indies lower order. The Proteas sealed the game with Andrew’s dismissal at 130, ultimately emerging victorious. Maphaka delivered a sensational performance, claiming a five-wicket haul and deservedly earning the Player of the Match award.
Also READ: U19 World Cup 2024 – Broadcast, Live Streaming details – When and where to watch in India, Australia, US, UK & other countries
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— ICC (@ICC) January 19, 2024