Australia and West Indies were left frustrated by the weather as their 5th Place Play-Off at the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup was abandoned at Willowmoore Park, Benoni.
Despite rain bringing the contest to a premature conclusion, the Windies finished the tournament in fifth position based on the Caribbean islanders’ higher finish in the group stages.
When there was play earlier in the day, the Australians had powered their way to a commanding 319 for eight with half-centuries from Liam Scott, Lachlan Hearne and Cooper Connolly.
The 99-run opening stand from Scott and Sam Fanning as well as the 101-run stand for the fifth wicket between Hearne and Connolly anchored the innings.
Matthew Patrick, with three wickets, was the pick of the mercurial Windies bowling attack as they failed to halt the consistent flow of runs from the Australian batsmen.
In pursuit, the West Indies were 62 for one off 12.3 overs.
The side’s captain, Kimani Melius, had blasted his way to 39 before he was caught by Fanning off Scott, which proved to be the last action of the tournament for either of the sides as the umpires called the players to come off because of rain.
While both teams were unable to live up to their billing on arrival to South Africa as potential favourites for the title, they still found some tournament positives.
“Finishing fifth is not what we would have wanted, but the boys did play well,” said Melius. “I can also say that our preparations were good, one of the positives was being able to approach the game with more intensity.”
Australian captain Mackenzie Harvey added: “We still played good cricket in the tournament despite the results and the squad camaraderie is awesome at the moment.”
Pakistan and New Zealand lock horns for third place
The penultimate game of the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup will see Pakistan and New Zealand go head to head for third place at Willowmoore Park, Benoni.
Both teams will be keen to finish their tournament on a high after losing their Super League Semi Finals, falling at the second to last hurdle in their bid for silverware.
Pakistan had reached the last four by finishing second in Group C behind finalists Bangladesh before defeating Afghanistan by six wickets thanks to Muhammad Hurraira’s knock of 64.
But their challenge for the world crown was halted emphatically by defending champions India, who claimed a ten-wicket triumph after bowling out Pakistan for 172 in 43.1 overs.
Pakistan will now hope to put right the wrongs from that performance when they take on New Zealand, who will have their own point to prove following their defeat in the last four to Bangladesh.
Like their opposition, the Junior Black Caps finished runners-up in their group behind eventual finalists India, with one win, one no result and a defeat from their three matches.
Despite an unconvincing route to the knockout stages, New Zealand came into their own in their Super League Quarter Final against West Indies, securing victory by two wickets in Benoni.
They were unable to repeat the trick in their Super League Semi Final, however, as Bangladesh proved too strong at the JB Marks Oval to send New Zealand into the 3rd Place Play-Off.
Scores in brief
Australia Under 19s v West Indies Under 19s – match abandoned, Willowmoore Park, Benoni
Australia 319-8, 50 overs (Liam Scott 66, Cooper Connolly 64, Lachlan Hearne 58; Matthew Patrick 3-43)
West Indies 62-1, 12.3 overs (Kimani Melius 39, Leonardo Julien 14 not out; Liam Scott 1-6)
ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2020 Fixtures
3rd Place Play-Off: 8 February: Pakistan v New Zealand, Willowmoore Park, Benoni
Super League Final: 9 February: India v Bangladesh, JB Marks Oval, Potchefstroom