West Indies’ Kevlon Anderson and Kai Smith of the United Arab Emirates scored superb centuries to bring the curtain down on the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup warm-up matches.
Anderson struck a brilliant 101 not out as his country defeat Scotland in their final preparation match, while UAE comfortably got the better of Japan thanks to Smith’s unbeaten 102.
There were also wins for New Zealand and Australia, over Bangladesh and Canada respectively, with all eyes now turning to Kimberley where South Africa face Afghanistan in the tournament opener on 17 January.
Anderson century seals West Indies win over Scotland
Anderson smashed a thrilling ton as West Indies condemned Scotland to a 126-run defeat in their final warm-up fixture in Irene, Pretoria.
Anderson, the talented young batsman from Guyana, was 101 not out in a swashbuckling knock that came off 72 balls, with the Windies posting 322 for six from their 50 overs.
He was ably supported by Kimani Melius (67) and Leonardo Julien (65) for the mammoth total.
The Windies innings contained two strong stands as Melius and Julien combined for a century for the second wicket; with Anderson dominating the fifth-wicket partnership batting alongside Daniel Beckford (27).
Scotland, in response, were bowled out for 196 with Uzzair Shah (49) and Ben Davidson (34) top scoring.
They were never able to put the pressure on in a chase where they needed to score at nearly seven runs to an over in order to reach the target.
Joshua James was the pick of the bowlers for the islanders with his three for 22 from six overs.
The trio of Matthew Patrick, Ashmead Nedd and Avinash Mahabirsingh provided great support with two wickets each.
Windies take on Australia in their Group B tournament opener on Saturday in Kimberley, while Scotland will face Pakistan (Group C) in Potchefstroom on Sunday.
Smith puts Japan to the sword
A destructive century by Kai Smith and an equally enterprising 98 by Vriitya Aravind saw the UAE charge to a massive win over plucky Japan in Dobsonville.
UAE had already fired a warning shot to the rest of the competition by defeating New Zealand in their previous warm-up and didn’t hesitate to opt to bat first against Japan.
Aravind started the carnage, drilling 98 from 104 deliveries, and adding 94 for the first wicket with captain Aryan Lakra (31).
A pair of Ashley Thurgate strikes with the ball then brought Smith to the crease, and he went about changing the game by carting four maximums and nine boundaries on his way to 102 off just 69 balls.
It blew Japan away, and a late flurry from Alishan Sharafu (58) and Osama Hassan saw UAE swell to 382 for six.
It was always going to be a tough ask for the young Japanese side, but Neel Date (39) and Kazumasa Takahashi (29) showed good resolve at the crease.
Regular wickets fell, however, with spinner Lakra helping himself to four scalps for just 15 runs, as the net closed in on Japan who were eventually bowled out for 129.
The final analysis said Japan lost by 258 runs, but they again learnt some priceless lessons out in the middle.
Black Caps back to winning ways with Bangladesh victory
New Zealand got their South Africa 2020 preparations back on track with a solid victory over Bangladesh, in their final warm-up match in Johannesburg.
The young Black Caps had been stunned earlier in the week by the UAE, who pipped them by one wicket in a thrilling preparation contest.
Playing on Rice Field, at St John’s College, New Zealand won the toss and elected to field first, determined to right their wrongs with ball in hand.
Joey Field set the tone with an opening burst that set the Tigers right back, sharing four for 35 in seven overs.
Bangladesh were under big pressure, slipping to 23 for five, before Towhid Hridoy (36) and Akbar Ali (23) came together.
They at least got the score beyond 100, though Aditya Ashok then took three for 35, as Bangladesh were bowled out for 112 in 29 overs.
In response, Rhys Mariu started confidently, with a 41-ball 32, to get New Zealand on their way.
Though there was a middle-order wobble, thanks to Tanzid Hasan’s three for 30, Kiwi skipper Jesse Tashkoff’s 41 not out saw his side home by four wickets, with more than 20 overs to spare.
Incredible Davies knock helps Australia beat Canada
Oliver Davies’ world-class innings of 94 from just 27 balls helped Australia beat Canada by nine wickets in their final warm-up match of South Africa 2020.
Chasing a target of 115 to win, the Australians reached 117 with the loss just one wicket in 46 balls.
Leading the carnage was Davies, who came in at number three to smash 11 sixes and six boundaries in a wonderful innings that saw shots aplenty at St Sithians College.
Earlier, Canada’s innings stuttered throughout before they bowled out 41.5 overs.
Wicket-keeper Eshan Sensarma opened the innings and top scored with a dogged 27 runs that came off 74 balls, with wickets tumbling around him as Australian bowlers Liam Scott, Todd Murphy and Corey Kelly picked up two apiece.
However, few would have expected the chase to last just 7.4 overs as Oliver made easy work of Canada’s bowling after having entered the fray in the second over.
The Australians take on West Indies in their Group B tournament opener in Kimberley on Saturday while Canada will be taking on the United Arab Emirates in Bloemfontein in their first match in Group D.
Scores in Brief
West Indies Under 19s beat Scotland Under 19s by 126 runs, Irene County Club, Pretoria
West Indies 322-6, 50 overs (Kevlon Anderson 101 not out, Kimani Melius 67; Charlie Peet 1-29)
Scotland 196 all out, 48 overs (Uzzair Shah 49; Joshua James 3-22; Avinash Mahabirsingh 2-21)
New Zealand Under 19s beat Bangladesh Under 19s by four wickets, St John’s College, Johannesburg
Bangladesh 112 all out, 29 overs (Tawhid Hridoy 36; Joey Field 4-35, Adithya Ashok 3-35)
New Zealand 115-6, 29.3 overs (Jesse Tashkoff 41 not out, Rhys Mariu 32; Tanzid Hasan 3-30)
United Arab Emirates Under 19s beat Japan by 253 runs, Braamfischer Oval, Soweto
United Arab Emirates 382-6, 50 overs (Kai Smith 102 not out, Vriitya Aravind 98; Ashley Thurgate 3-40)
Japan 129 all out, 42 overs (Neel Date 39; Aryan Lakra 4-15, Muhammad Farazuddin 2-12)
Australia Under 19s beat Canada Under 19s by nine wickets, St. Sithians College, Johannesburg
Canada 114, 41.5 overs (Eshan Sensarma 27; Liam Scott 2-8, Corey Kelly 2-13
Australia 117-1, 7.4 overs (Oliver Davies 94 not out; Ayush Verma 1-16)
ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2020 Fixtures
Group A Fixtures:
18 January: New Zealand v Japan – North West University Oval, Potchefstroom; 19 January: India v Sri Lanka – Mangaung Oval, Bloemfontein; 21 January: India v Japan – Mangaung Oval, Bloemfontein; 22 January: New Zealand v Sri Lanka – Mangaung Oval, Bloemfontein; 24 January: India v New Zealand – Mangaung Oval, Bloemfontein; 25 January: Sri Lanka v Japan – North West University Oval, Potchefstroom
Group B Fixtures:
18 January: Australia v West Indies – Diamond Oval, Kimberley; 20 January: England v West Indies – Diamond Oval, Kimberley; 20 January: Australia v Nigeria – Country Club B Field, Kimberley; 23 January: Australia v England – Diamond Oval, Kimberley; 23 January: West Indies v Nigeria – Country B Club Field, Kimberley; 25 January: England v Nigeria – Diamond Oval, Kimberley
Group C fixtures:
18 January: Bangladesh v Zimbabwe – JB Marks Oval, Potchefstroom; 19 January: Pakistan v Scotland – North West University Oval, Potchefstroom; 21 January: Bangladesh v Scotland – Witrand Oval, Potchefstroom; 22 January: Pakistan v Zimbabwe – Witrand Oval, Potchefstroom; 24 January: Pakistan v Bangladesh – JB Marks Oval, Potchefstroom; 25 January: Zimbabwe v Scotland – Witrand Oval, Potchefstroom
Group D fixtures:
17 January: South Africa v Afghanistan – De Beers Diamond Oval, Kimberley; 18 January: United Arab Emirates v Canada – Mangaung Oval, Bloemfontein; 22 January: Afghanistan v United Arab Emirates – North West University Oval, Potchefstroom; 22 January: South Africa v Canada – JB Marks Oval, Potchefstroom; 24 January: Afghanistan v Canada – Ibbies Oval, Potchefstroom; 25 January: South Africa v United Arab Emirates – Mangaung Oval, Bloemfontein