Nandu heroics save West Indies U-19s’ face
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Matthew Nandu top-scored with 80.
Matthew Nandu top-scored with 80.

CMC – MATTHEW Nandu struck his second straight half-century, while leg-spinner Vasant Singh snatched a four-wicket haul as West Indies Under-19s wrapped up their six-match tour of England with a 17-run victory Friday.

Entering the contest at Polo Farm Sports Club with just a single win to their credit in the previous five Youth One-Day Internationals, the tourists managed to raise 230 all out off their 50 overs, with the left-handed Nandu stroking a top score of 80 to follow up his 51 in the fifth match earlier this week.

Carlon Bowen-Tuckett struck 48 and Ackeem Auguste, 25, with West Indies Under-19s also benefitting from 36 extras, courtesy of 18 wides and eight no-balls.

Fast bowlers Sonny Baker (4-41) and Nathan Barnwell (2-37) spearheaded England’s U-19 attack, along with leg-spinner Rehan Ahmed who claimed three for 30.

In reply, England U-19s were dismissed for 213 off 45 overs with Vasant Singh finishing with four for 51 from his 10 overs and Nandu returning with his off-spin to claim two for 35.

Rehan Ahmed, entering at number seven, top-scored for the hosts with an unbeaten 68, which nearly took the game away from West Indies U19s, while George Thomas weighed in with 38 and James Rew, 28, the pair adding 52 for the first wicket.

Thomas struck four fours and a six off 57 balls while Rew faced 40 deliveries and counted four fours before becoming the first casualty of the run chase in the 12th over.

Thomas put on a further 27 for the third wicket with Danial Ibrahim (6) before England U19s lost a cluster of wickets with five going down for the addition of only 44 runs, to leave the innings in turmoil on 135 for seven in the 33rd over.

However, Rehan Ahmed slammed six fours and two sixes, posting 30 for the eighth wicket with Fateh Singh (13) and 36 for the last wicket with Baker (3), before West Indies U19s wrapped up victory with nerves beginning to fray.

Choosing to bat first earlier, West Indies U-19s rallied to their eventual score after Nandu held the innings together by anchoring two half-century stands.

With the innings floundering on 25 for two, Nandu put on 78 for the third wicket with Ackeem Auguste, who punched two fours in a 43-ball knock, before posting another 55 for the sixth wicket with Johann Layne (16).

All told, Nandu faced 120 deliveries and struck eight fours before falling in the 39th over to a catch at the wicket off Baker.
Bowen-Tuckett then took responsibility for the back end of the innings, hitting five fours in a 69-ball stay at the crease.

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