The West Indies Colts (Under-19) team has created history by winning the recently concluded Cricket World Cup in Bangladesh. By defeating the four times World champions India, the Caribbean boys have given a new hope to the sinking West Indies Cricket Board.
The Mankading incident gave them a second chance after they defeated Zimbabwe in a much talked about controversial match. West Indies gained from that match and proved the world that not only do they know the importance of the World Cup but they also have the courage to defeat the favourites in their backyard.
West Indies’ mix of high-speed hustle with the ball and patience with the bat helped them beat the pre-tournament favorites- India by five wickets in a tense final in Mirpur to lift their maiden Under-19 World Cup title.
India, who were bowled out for 145, held their own and fought till the end admirably until Keemo Paul and Keacy Carty’s ice-cool approach helped West Indies eat into the target and eventually cross the line with three balls to spare. That meant India lost a Youth ODI for the first time since their quarterfinal exit of the same tournament in 2014.
Anmolpreet Singh, who had done well in the two knockout games prior to the grand finale fell next, was unable to get his bat out of the way to a rising Alzarri Joseph delivery in the third over, as he gloved a nick to the wicketkeeper. Then came a blow that ended Ishan Kishan’s run of poor scores as he played across the line and was trapped LBW, even though replays showed the ball had pitched just outside leg stump. When Washington Sundar chipped a simple catch to mid-off, a top order wobble seemed complete at 41 for 4 in the 15th over.
India needed a rescue act, but West Indies didn’t drop their intensity even by an inch. Arman Jaffer drove away to the cover fielder to leave Sarfaraz Khan with the unenviable task of reviving the innings and batting through, like he had done for most parts of the tournament.
It does prove the worth of this young talent and also comes in support of them. Treating any team as an underdog can be hazardous in terms of matches. By lifting the coveted title, West Indies U-19 team proved a saying which has been around for quite considerable amount of time now, “Anything is possible in Cricket.”