DHAKA, Bangladesh (CMC) – West Indies Under-19s were crowned world champions for the first time when they beat heavy favourites India by five wickets with three balls to spare in a tense final here yesterday.
Chasing just 146 for victory, the young Windies were reduced to 77 for five in the 29th over, but a brilliant unbeaten half-century by man-of-the-match Keacy Carty saw home the Caribbean side in a nervy last over at the Shere Bangla National Stadium.
Earlier, the West Indies had taken a grip on the final thanks to an inspired bowling performance from Antigua & Barbuda’s brilliant young paceman Alzarri Joseph, who tore through the India top order with a fine exhibition of fast bowling.
Joseph finished with a total of 13 wickets, the third highest in the tournament. The Leeward Islands youngster took his wickets at an average of 13.76 with an economy rate of just 3.31. In six games in the tournament he only once went at four or more runs per over.
In the final, Joseph finished with three for 39 from his 10 overs, while seamers Ryan John (three for 38) and Keemo Paul (two for 17) provided excellent support.
With Joseph and new ball partner Chemar Holder (one for 20) doing the early damage, India crashed to 50 for five in the 18th over and the hot favourites to claim the under-19 world title never really recovered.
Sarfaraz Khan top-scored with 51 off 89 balls and Rahul Batham got 21, but they were two of only three batsmen to make it into double figures.
The bowling effort, speaheaded by Joseph, paved the way for the successful run chase in which Carty stroked an unbeaten 52 off 125 balls with two fours. He added a precious 69 in an unbroken sixth wicket stand with the consistent Paul, who struck a busy 40 not out off 68 deliveries with a four and a six.
The pair entered the final over of the game with three runs needed and Paul got the winning runs when he top-edged a pull over the wicketkeeper for four, to spark wild celebrations in the West Indies camp.