India are champions of the ICC Men’s Under-19 Cricket World Cup for a fifth time after a four-wicket win over England in the final at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium in Antigua on Saturday.

Despite a near flawless 95 off 116 balls including 12 fours from James Rew, England had a disappointing outing with the bat, being bowled out for 189 off just 44.5 overs.

James Sales was the next highest scorer for the English with 34 not out off 65 balls.

All-rounder Raj Bawa led the way for India with the ball with 5-31 off 9.5 overs, the best figures in the history of U-19 World Cup finals.

Bawa was supported well by Ravi Kumar who narrowly missed out on a five-wicket haul of his own, taking 4-34 off his nine overs.

After an indifferent start to the reply, an unbeaten 50 off 54 balls from Nishant Sindhu helped guide India to their target, finishing 195-6 off 47.4 overs.

Vice-captain Shaik Rasheed earlier got an even 50 off 84 balls for the Indians while Bawa also contributed 35.

Joshua Boyden, Tom Aspinwall and James Sales all took two wickets each for England.

Bawa was voted player of the match while South Africa's Dewald Brevis was voted player of the tournament after scoring 506 runs in six innings, the most runs in an Under-19 World Cup.

As the ICC Under 19 Men’s Cricket World Cup 2022 reaches its crescendo, Cricket West Indies (CWI) President Ricky Skerritt has lauded the diligence and commitment of the four host governments and tournament staff in delivering another world-class event.

 

Speaking in Antigua yesterday – ahead of today’s grand tournament finale between England and India – he noted that, despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the event has taken place “almost seamlessly which is a great credit to all who worked tirelessly to make it a reality in difficult circumstances”.

 

“We knew it would be extra tough hosting such a large sporting event during the pandemic, especially moving so many people around different countries with different protocols; 16 teams, match officials, event staff, and broadcast crews. Then we had to factor in the periodic (COVID-19) testing of everyone associated with the tournament and, of course, we had some positive cases which we dealt with appropriately. It has proven a rigorous examination of our readiness; the systems we put in place; and of our ability to adapt and respond quickly to evolving situations,” he noted.

 

“Our people have done an amazing job to stay focused and to keep cricket playing. Congratulations to all the host countries as well as to our Tournament Director Fawwaz Baksh and the entire Project Team. I must single out our host governments for going above and beyond to ensure this event’s success. Thank you for such wholehearted and priceless support.”

 

Stressing this is the fourth International Cricket Council (ICC) global tournament being hosted by Cricket West Indies, Skerritt underscored the value of having “a growing cadre of sport-events professionals who are experienced in delivering events to world-class standards and capable of remaining calm under pressure”.

 

“Our Tournament Director and other project staff have worked on previous World Cups which the region has hosted. The fact that we were able to stay on track with the tournament schedule is glowing testament to them, as well as to the dedication of the host governments, the Local Organizing Committees, the airlines, hotels, medical experts, transportation operators and other service providers with whom we worked.

 

“Everyone understood what was at stake. This has been a collective exercise in resilience and a determination to find solutions and to show our best in the face of adversity. It has been great teamwork – including with the ICC – and a sterling reminder that we are always stronger together.”

 

The President was thankful that COVID-19 hardly interfered with on-field action in the 23-day event; with only two matches in the Plate competition being cancelled because Canada could not field a team.

 

“Fans watching on television or via live streaming have been marvelling at how we have pulled this off. It was viewing as usual – cricket being played in Guyana, St. Kitts, Trinidad and now Antigua – and ultimately that’s what will be remembered: the exploits of the next generation of international stars and the excitement they brought to the world.”

West Indies Under-19s secured an eight-wicket win over Zimbabwe Under-19s to finish 11th in the ICC Men’s Under-19 Cricket World Cup on Monday.

In the match played at the Diego Martin Sports Complex in Trinidad and Tobago, Zimbabwe Under-19s won the toss and elected to bat first.

This proved to be a good decision as they batted well to amass 256-4 off their 50 overs thanks to half-centuries from David Bennett who made 77 not out off 105 balls and Brian Bennett, who made 62 off 84 balls. Connor Mitchell provided the Zimbabweans with an important late innings push with 42 not out off 26 balls.

Johann Layne took 2-44 off seven overs for the West Indies.

A pair of stunning innings from Kevin Wickham and Teddy Bishop ensured the West Indies chased their target without much trouble.

Wickham scored a well-played 104 off 116 balls with 17 fours.

The 18-year-old Barbadian, who was originally one of the reserves for the squad, got his third score of 50 or more in four matches in the tournament after getting 56 against Sri Lanka and 61 against Papua New Guinea.

Bishop got the second hundred of the innings and third for the West Indies in the tournament with a brilliant 112 not out off 121 balls with 11 fours and one six.

Rivaldo Clarke got 28 not out and was at the crease with Bishop when the young Windies eventually got to 262-2 off 49.2 overs to seal the win.

Wickham, with 243 runs in four innings including one hundred and two fifties, was the West Indies leading runs scorer while pace bowler Shiva Sankar was the team’s leading wicket-taker with nine scalps in six matches.

West Indies Under-19s will now compete in the 11th place playoff at the ICC Men’s Under-19 Cricket World Cup after an embarrassing 83 run loss to UAE Under-19s in their Plate semi-final in Port of Spain today.

UAE won the toss and elected to bat first, reaching 224-9 off their 50 overs thanks to half-centuries from Aayan Khan (93) and Shival Bawa (51).

Shiva Sankar led the way for the Windies bowlers with 3-31 off nine overs while Nathan Edward and Matthew Nandu took two wickets each.

Jash Giyanani and Dhruv Parashar then combined to take seven wickets between them to restrict the West Indians to a modest 142 all out in reply.

Nathan Edward (51), Kevin Wickham (22), and Isai Thorne (17) were the only batsmen to score double figures against Giyanani’s 3-21 off 10 overs and Parashar’s 4-30 off nine.

The West Indies will now play the loser of the Plate semi-final between Ireland and Zimbabwe in the 11th place playoff while UAE will play the winner in the ninth-place playoff.

 

The West Indies Under-19s have failed to advance to the Super League stage of the 2022 ICC Men’s Under-19 Cricket World Cup after suffering a hard-fought three-wicket defeat to Sri Lanka Under-19s at the Conaree Cricket Ground in St. Kitts on Friday.

Sri Lanka won the toss and chose to field first, and despite the continued absence of regular captain Ackeem Auguste, who made 57 in the first match against Australia U-19s, West Indies Under-19s got their highest total of the tournament with 250-9 off their 50 overs.

In the must-win encounter, Kevin Wickham, playing his first game of the World Cup, top-scored with 56.

He was well supported by Jordan Johnson, who got 47, as well as Rivaldo Clarke and Teddy Bishop, who got 45 each.

Sri Lankan captain Dunith Wellalage, who has so far taken two five-wicket hauls in the tournament, was again the pick of the Sri Lankan bowlers with 3-39 off his 10 overs.

Despite a valiant effort from the West Indies Under-19s bowlers, Sri Lanka were able to get to their target, finishing on 251-9 with 10 balls remaining.

Opener Sadisha Rajapaksa top-scored for the Sri Lankans with 76 and he got support from Anjala Bandara (40) and Shevon Daniel (34).

McKenny Clarke led the West Indies bowlers with 2-38 off his 9.2 overs while Isai Thorne took 2-41 off 10 overs.

Sri Lanka Under-19s and Australia Under-19s will now advance to the Super League stage as the top two finishers in Group D.

The tournament hasn’t ended for the West Indies Under-19s, however, as they will now compete in the plate quarterfinals.

 

In Group C, Zimbabwe U-19s achieved the biggest margin of victory so far in the tournament, a massive 228 run win over Papua New Guinea U-19s in Port of Spain.

After Zimbabwe won the toss and batted first, captain Emmanuel Bawa scored one of two centuries on the day, an even 100 off 95 balls to help Zimbabwe post a formidable 321-9 off their 50 overs.

Papua New Guinea were no match for the Zimbabwean bowlers, being skittled out for 93 in 35 overs.

Victor Chirwa was the pick of the Zimbabwean bowlers with 2-11 from seven overs while Brian Bennett (2-20 from 6 overs) and Ngenyasha Zvinoera (2-25 from 6 overs) also had good spells.

In the lone Group A match on Saturday, UAE U-19s beat Canada U-19s by 49 runs in a competitive game in Basseterre.

UAE U-19s won the toss and batted first, making 284-7 off their 50 overs thanks to half-centuries from Punya Mehra (71) and Ali Naseer (73).

Gurnek Singh took 2-38 off seven overs for Canada U-19s.

A well-played 96 from captain Mihir Patel wasn’t enough for Canada U-19s to successfully chase their target, eventually finishing 235 all out off 46.4 overs.

Anoop Chima (46) and Kairav Sharma (43) also got runs for Canada U-19s against 2-32 from eight overs from Nilansh Keswani.

Adhitya Shetty, Jash Giyanani and Alishan Sharafu also got two wickets each for UAE U-19s.

In the first of two Group B matches on Saturday, Ireland U-19s Joshua Cox was the day’s second centurion as his 111 not out helped them secure a 39-run win over Uganda U-19s in Georgetown.

Uganda U-19s won the toss and elected to field first, a decision that proved costly in the end as Ireland were able to get a score of 236-9 off their 50 overs with Cox getting the most support from Phillipus le Roux who made 32.

Juma Miyaji, captain Pascal Muringi, Joseph Baguma and Matthew Musinguzi all took two wickets each for the Ugandans.

Murungi then top scored with 63 and Miyaji also contributed 38 but it wasn’t enough as Ireland restricted them to 197 all out off 48.1 overs to seal the win.

Matthew Humphreys was the pick of the Irish bowlers with 4-25 off his 10 overs.

India U-19s secured a 45-run win over South Africa U-19s in Georgetown in the other Group B clash.

South Africa U-19s won the toss and elected to field first, a decision which looked like the right one as they were able to pick up early wickets thanks to good bowling by left-arm pacer Aphiwe Mnyanda.

India got on the right track, however, and used innings from captain Yash Dhull (82), Kaushal Tambe (35) and Shaik Rasheed (31) to recover to 232 all out in 46.5 overs.

Matthew Boast led the South African bowlers with 3-40 off nine overs while Mnyanda took 2-29 from five.

A stroke-filled 65 from Dewald Brevis and a solid 36 from captain George Van Heerden proved to be insufficient as South Africa lost wickets in quick succession before eventually being bowled out for 187 in 45.4 overs.

Vicky Ostval was the chief destroyer for the Indians with a brilliant 5-28 off his 10 overs while Raj Bawa supported him with 4-47 from 6.4 overs.

 

Sports Company of Trinidad and Tobago (SPORTT) Douglas Camacho is confident the country will benefit from hosting the ICC U19 World Cup, despite spectators not being allowed to attend matches.

The tournament, which will get underway on Friday will be played across the Caribbean territories of St Kitts, Antigua, and Guyana, in addition to T&T.

With case numbers for the Covid-19 pandemic remaining high, however, the T&T venues, Queen’s Park Oval, Brian Lara Cricket Academy, and Diego Martin Sporting Complex will only be occupied by players and officials.

Despite that fact, however, Camacho expects the tournament to be a success.

 “We wouldn’t be able to have spectators at attendance. While this is a downer for some, I don’t think this will impact upon the quality of the tournament itself or on the organisation that has been put in place,” Camacho said.

“The facilities, both for training and competitive matches, are world-renowned, world-class and the best of the best,” he added.

 “We are very confident that all the players, officials, attendees will have a wonderful experience, that would be to the benefit of Trinidad and Tobago.”

The tournament will get underway at the  

Providence Stadium, in Guyana, on Friday, with the West Indies playing against Australia.

West Indies Under-19 captain Ackeem Auguste says the team is confident ahead of the start of the ICC Men’s Under-19 Cricket World Cup on Friday.

West Indies U-19s will open their bid to capture their first title since the 2016 edition when they face Australia Under-19s at Providence Stadium in Guyana.

“I think we’re fairly confident. We’ve prepared very well as a unit and did our own personal training so I think going into the game, it’s important that we stick to the basics for as long as possible and just enjoy it,” Auguste said, speaking to the media on Thursday.

The captain also expressed the sentiment that the unity of the squad is good heading into the tournament.

“I think the camaraderie amongst the boys is very good. We’re gelling well as a unit,” he said.

When asked about the plans for the game against Australia on Friday, Auguste again emphasized sticking to the basics as much as possible.

“The plan is to just stick to the basics for as long as possible, encourage each other, pull each other along, and just play the game hard,” he added.

 

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