By Ravendra Madholall at Providence
Disappointment for West Indian aficionados as their under-19 team began the International Cricket Council 50-overs World Cup on the losing side by six wickets to Australia on Friday at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence.
They batted first after triumphing at the toss but only rallied to an inadequate 169 all out off 40.1 overs while opener Teague Wyllie struck an unbeaten 86 to orchestrate the chase in consummate manner as his country safely reached 170-4 in the 45th over.
The compact right-handed Wyllie batted with superb confidence despite a circumspect start. He saw two early setbacks but shared two vital partnerships during his 129-ball stay at the crease. First Wyllie and his skipper Cooper Connolly commenced the early disaster with a solid and steady 53-run third-wicket stand before Connolly perished for 23.
The fluent Wyllie continued with a great amount of positivity and featured in another impressive 74-run fourth-wicket stand with Nivethan Radhakrishnan who got a useful 31 before he was spectacularly caught by Anderson Mahase at backward point to off-spinner Matthew Nandu.
Wyllie ensured he and Campbell Kallaway (10*) there was no more fuss.
Earlier, West Indies began their innings in the most innocuous fashion as they lost Nandu (00) the second ball of the match taken to a regulation catch to wicketkeeper Snell off the pacer Tom Whitney. Soon after Teddy Bishop (05) and opener Shaqkere Parris (04) followed.
But captain Akeem Auguste played a fantastic innings by getting eye-catching half-century (57). The left-hander cracked eight exquisite fours facing 67 balls before he seemed to have lapsed in concentration and spooned a catch to deep mid-wicket. He and Rivaldo Clarke repaired the innings though participating in a promising 95-run fourth-wicket stand.
Clarke contributed 37 and again it was a line of wickets before McKenny Clarke (unrelated) hit a cameo 35-ball 29 towards the end to help carry the score past 150. He displayed great aggression by smacking off-spinner Harkirat Bajwa for three towering sixes in one over.
Left-arm spinner Connnolly proved his all-round capability by bagging three wickets for 17 runs from seven probing overs while Whitney finished with 3-20 in his 8.1 overs and off-break bowler Radhakrishnan also accounted for three victims but conceded 48 runs off his maximum ten overs.