The batting woes of the West Indies Under-19 team continued yesterday, as they lost their second and final warm-up match ahead of the ICC Under-19 World Cup.
Despite a half-century from captain Ackeem Auguste, the home side again failed to bat their full allotment of 50 overs, and the South Africa Under-19s took advantage to win by three wickets with a massive 87 balls to spare at the National Stadium at Providence in Guyana.
The two teams recently shared a low-scoring four-match series 2-2 in St Vincent.
But the change of location has not improved the batting form of the World Cup hosts.
They made just 170 in losing by 108 runs to India on Sunday at the same venue. And yesterday, batting first after South Africa captain George Van Heerden had won the toss, Auguste’s men could only muster 189, being dismissed with 28 balls to spare.
The Windies top order struggled once again. The first five wickets had gone down for just 61 runs by the 15th over. That was when opener Matthew Nandu who had scored 52 against India, was lbw to miserly off-spinner Michael Copeland (5-1-14-2) after accumulating 19 off 39 balls. Before then, pacer Matthew Boast had removed Jordan Johnson (zero), Shaqkere Parris (three) and Teddy Bishop (nine), while Boast’s new ball partner Aphiwe Mnyanda removed Rivaldo Clarke (15).
Vice-captain Giovonte Depeiza then lasted just two balls before he became Copeland’s second lbw victim, to leave the total on 61 for six in the 17th over.
Auguste therefore went to the crease with the innings in crisis, but the WI skipper found an able ally in wicketkeeper Carlon Bowen-Tuckett.
Together the pair soaked up the next 12 overs in putting on 63 for the seventh wicket before Auguste fell to Andile Simelane via a Dewald Brevis catch, having struck a tempo-raising 52 from 47 balls which included two sixes and six fours.
Bowen-Tuckett was eventually last out for 45 from 85 balls, hitting his stumps against left-arm spinner Asakhe Tsaka.
In their previous four encounters, the WI bowlers had kept the South Africans in check. But yesterday, despite reducing the opposition to 75 for three by the 15th over, they were unable to keep the clamps on. That was largely because Auguste’s counterpart, wicketkeeper/batsman Van Heerden took control, hitting an unbeaten 61 from 59 balls with six fours and two maximums. His stand of 68 off 86 balls with Brevis for the fourth wicket more or less settled the contest. By the time Brevis was removed by off-spinner Onaje Amory for an even 50, South Africa needed just 47 more runs for victory with 128 balls remaining.
They duly got to their target for the further loss of Simelane, Copeland and Boast who all fell to seamer McKenny Clarke.
Clarke (5-0-34-3) was the most successful of the WI bowlers but Anderson Mahase also put in a good shift to take two for 31 in his eight overs.
However, as they prepare for their opening Group D game against Australia tomorrow, coach Floyd Reifer will be concerned about the kind of totals his bowlers will be given to defend.
WI U-19s 189, 43.2 overs (Ackeem Auguste 52, Carlon Bowen-Tuckett 45; Matthew Boast 3/9, Michael Copeland 2/14, Aphiwe Mnyanda 2/33)
vs South Africa U-19s 191-7, 35.3 (George Van Heerden 61 n.o., Dewald Brevis 50; McKenny Clarke 3/34, Anderson Mahase 2/31)
—South Africa U-19s won by three wickets