FATULLAH – Skipper Shimron Hetmyer and Tevin Imlach hit half-centuries as the West Indies thrashed Pakistan by five wickets to cruise into the semi-finals of the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup in Bangladesh today.
Hetmyer scored a fluent 52 and Imlach made a polished 54 to ensure a gallant 113 by Umaid Masood went in vain as the West Indies surpassed Pakistan’s 227 for six with 10 overs to spare in Fatullah.
The West Indies take on hosts Bangladesh in the second semi-final in Mirpur on Thursday. India play Sri Lanka in the first semi-final at the same venue tomorrow.
Pakistan’s defeat prevented an all-Asian semi-final despite Umaid’s Man of the Match-winning performance, but the West Indies played better all-round cricket to emerge deserved winner.
Umaid came to the crease in the 15th over with Pakistan struggling at 40 for four and rebuilt the innings in the company of Salman Fayyaz after half the side was back in the hut by the 21st over.
Umaid, who had scored 13 not out and 10 in previous matches in the tournament, hit 15 boundaries and two sixes before he was out in the final over.
Salman remained unbeaten on a defiant half-century, which included three hits to the fence and a six.
The revival came after a two-wicket burst by seamer Chemar Holder and fiery fast bowling by Alzarri Joseph, who conceded just 28 runs in his 10 overs. Joseph clocked 145kph during his spell.
Holder joined the squad two nights before the match against Pakistan as a replacement for the injured Odean Smith. A few weeks ago, the Barbados-born 17-year-old paceman had bundled Windward Islands out for 66 to help Combined Campuses and Colleges successfully defend 156 in a List A game.
Once Joseph’s spell finished in the 36th over, Pakistan added a further 109 runs to set the West Indies a challenging target.
The Caribbean flair was evident as the West Indies raced to 100 for one by the 16th over. Opener Gidron Pope hit two massive sixes before being out cutting to deep point.
Hetmyer and Imlach put on 77 for the second wicket to take the score to 122 for one, before two needless run outs saw the total slip to 147 for four.
Shamar Springer was the fifth batsman to fall for 37 when 38 runs were still needed for victory, but Jyd Goolie (26 not out) and Keemo Paul (24 not out) saw their side home.
“This is a wonderful result for us,” said Hetmyer. “It feels good to be through to the semi-finals.
“We just stuck to our plans and executed what we had worked on at practice. It was probably a good toss to lose because our bowlers did very well to take those early wickets.”
Pakistan’s captain Zeeshan Malik congratulated the West Indies, but felt his team should have defended its score.
“Our plan had been to get around 235 because we had the bowlers who were capable of defending it,” he said. “I thought we put up a good score despite the poor start.
“But I must give credit to the West Indies batsmen for playing so aggressively and chasing down the target.”
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe upset the tournament’s defending champion South Africa by eight wickets to enter the Plate Championship final for teams that finished outside the top eight.
Left-arm seamer Richard Ngarava grabbed four for 10 in nine overs as South Africa were shot out for 91, a modest target that Zimbabwe overtook in 22 overs after an unbeaten 34 from Jeremy Ives.
Zimbabwe will take on the winner of the other semi-final between Afghanistan and New Zealand in the final on 12 February.
In a play-off for minor placings, Scotland defeated Fiji by 76 runs in another Plate match in Cox’s Bazar.
Scores in brief:
Super League quarter-final: West Indies beat Pakistan by five wickets – Pakistan 227-6, 50 overs (Umaid Masood 113, Salman Fayyaz 58 not out; Chemar Holder 2-26)
West Indies 229-5, 40 overs (Tevin Imlach 54, Shimron Hetmyer 52, Shamar Springer 37) (ICC)