West Indies snatched heartbreaking defeat from the jaws of victory last night and crashed out of the International Cricket Council’s Under-19 World Cup, losing off the last ball of their quarter-final match against New Zealand at Townsville, Queensland.
The senior West Indies team have recently got the better of their Kiwi counterparts in all three formats of the game, but the young New Zealanders turned the tables emphatically on the juniors when needing 18 runs off the last over bowled by Justin Greaves, and four runs off the last ball,
Ish Sodhi made himself an instant Kiwi hero by delivering the goods for his team.
West Indies started the 50th over the clear favourites to advance as it was unfathomable that they would have leaked so many runs. Greaves had previously gone at just over three runs an over (1 for 25 in 7 overs) and had generally bowled very disciplined lines.
With the economical orthodox left-arm spinner Deron Davis (0 for 29 in 10 overs) and the penetrative fast bowler Ronsford Beaton (3 for 47 in 10 overs) having completed their allotted overs, Greaves was captain Kraigg Brathwaite’s logical choice to bowl the vital last over.B
ut Sodhi managed a boundary and a single from what was Greaves’ eighth over, and his partner Jacob Duffy picked up a leg bye to leave 12 runs required from three balls. Then Sodhi struck a six, a two and a four to complete the dramatic win as New Zealand overhauled the West Indies total of 237 and moved into the final four of the competition, along with India, Australia and South Africa.
The day had started reasonably well for West Indies, who were sent in, as openers Brathwaite and Sunil Ambris put on 48 for the opening wicket. Brathwaite (53) and Akeal Hosain (54) both contributed half-centuries and, despite three wickets to Matthew Quinn, West Indies were able to bat out their overs and post a challenging 237 when the last batsman was run out from the final ball of the 50th over.
Ronsford Beaton picked up two early wickets in the chase but Ben Horne steadied New Zealand with 59, and Robert O’Donnell (42) and Cam Fletcher (49) kept them in the contest through the middle of the innings. But with ten overs remaining, New Zealand still needed 89 runs, and it was only through the striking of Sodhi at the very end that they triumphed. (Cricinfo/WG)