West Indies will contest the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 5th Place Play-Off after a four-wicket win over hosts South Africa in their Super League Play-Off Semi Final in Potchefstroom.
Kimani Melius led the batting efforts as his side edged to their target of 144, with the home nation now set for the 7th Place Play-Off after missing out at the JB Marks Oval.
Nigeria, meanwhile, made history with their very first win of the ICC U19 World Cup – defeating fellow debutants Japan to secure 15th place at South Africa 2020.
Canada also prevailed in their final game, getting the better of pool-stage rivals United Arab Emirates to end their campaign in 13th position.
West Indies rally to set up fight for fifth
West Indies bounced back from the disappointment of losing their Super League Quarter Final to New Zealand by securing a four-wicket victory over South Africa in Potchefstroom.
An impressive bowling display on a pitch that offered a lot to the bowlers helped the Caribbean outfit remove the Junior Proteas for 143 all out.
The Windies, led by captain Melius (29), then chased down the target with four wickets in hand, despite a commendable effort from the hosts.
South Africa were pegged back early with Jonathan Bird (13), captain Bryce Parsons (7) and Luke Beaufort (9) falling early.
Although wickets fell around him, opener, Levert Manje imposed himself well to get to a 63-ball 43 alongside wicket-keeper-batsman, Khanya Cotani (27) to move the hosts to two runs shy of triple figures.
A run out of Manje then sparked a middle-order collapse, as four more wickets went down in quick succession with three different West Indies bowlers finishing with two wickets.
In their reply, the West Indies were also rocked by early departures at the crease as South Africa started their defence with great impetus.
Top-order batters, Leonardo Julien (0) and Kevlon Anderson (1) were dismissed during a fiery opening spell by Merrick Brett (two for 33) and Achille Cloete (one for 40) before Melius and Kirk McKenzie (19) battled hard to repel the South Africans’ attempts to make serious inroads.
The spin duo of Parsons (two for 23) and Pheko Moletsane (one for six) finally broke their third-wicket stand but their momentum was soon foiled by an important 47-run partnership between Antonio Morris (26) and Matthew Patrick (25) as they edged closer to victory.
Nyeem Young (10) and Joshua James (15 not out) then chipped in with vital runs to help get their side over the line with 50 balls remaining.
“Overall it was a great game today, the team played well, but disappointed after the loss to New Zealand,” said Patrick, Player of the Match.
“But what good teams do is that they bounce back and we bounced back today.”
West Indies will play the victor of Australia’s Super League Play-Off Semi Final match with Afghanistan in the fight for fifth, while the losing side will do battle for South Africa in their bid to finish seventh.
Nigeria make history with Japan success
Nigeria finished off their maiden ICC U19 Cricket World Cup campaign with an historic first win after beating Japan by eight wickets at the Ibbies Oval.
After bowling out Japan for 115, the Nigerians reached the score with relative ease off 22.4 overs.
With this victory, the west Africans will finish 15th on the overall tournament table while Japan, their fellow debutant associate member nation, taking 16th in the standings.
There were many other memorable moments in the fixture played under hot conditions and a slow wicket in Potchefstroom.
Batting first, Japan reached triple figures for the first time, as Shu Noguchi (31) and Ishaan Fartyal (16) top scored, while also benefiting from 30 extras from the Junior Yellow Green bowling.
Nigerian seamer and Player of the Match, Ifeanyi Uboh, picked up an impressive five for 23 with Taiwo Mohameed finishing with two for 13.
In the chase, openers Sulaimon Runsewe (56 not out) and Elijah Olaleye (21) ensured that their team had total control as they chased a moderate target.
“As a team, we are excited about getting our first win. I am also happy to have taken my first five-wicket haul at international level. It will motivate me to do better,” said Uboh.
Japan captain Marcus Thurgate said: “We are disappointed with the results but we have enjoyed our stay in South Africa.
“We go back home with a lot of positives for our game and will come back stronger.”
Canada’s revenge sees them finish on a high
Excellent all-round contributions from Udaybir Walia and Akhil Kumar helped Canada leave South Africa on a high after a battling four-wicket win in their 13th Place Play-Off against United Arab Emirates.
The North Americans were clinical with the ball, dismissing their counterparts for 174 in 44.1 overs, but then made heavy weather hunting down the target at Witrand Oval.
They slipped to 93 for six in the 25th over, before Walia (42 not out) and Harmanjeet Singh Bedi (40 not out) shared in an unbroken 86-run stand that carried them over the line with 46 deliveries to spare.
The match, which allowed Canada to exact revenge on UAE after they lost to them in the group stages, drew the curtain on the tournament for both teams.
And they will at least head home knowing they were involved in a tough final tussle in South Africa.
Walia was also Canada’s star man with the ball earlier after they had won the toss and opted to bowl, with the seamer claiming three for 16.
He offered excellent support to fellow medium-pacer Kumar (three for 27), with only Alishan Sharafu’s 65 not out managing to do any damage from the UAE perspective.
Rishabh Mukherjee (four for 62) left the Canadians in a huge hole early on, before Kumar (37) steadied the ship and the Walia-Bedi stand completed the job.
“I think the World Cup was a great learning experience for everyone in our team,” said Walia, Player of the Match. “All the wins and all the losses will help make us into better players.”
Scores in brief
West Indies Under 19s beat South Afirca Under 19s by four wickets, JB Marks Oval, Potchefstroom
South Africa 143 all out, 38.2 overs (Levert Manje 43; Matthew Patrick 2-12, Ashmead Nedd 2-18)
West Indies 147-6, 41.4 overs (Kimani Melius 29, Antonio Morris 26; Bryce Parsons 2-23)
Nigeria Under 19s beat Japan Under 19s by eight wickets, Ibbies Oval, Potchefstroom
Japan 115 all out, 42 overs (Shu Noguchi 31; Ifeanyi Uboh 5-23, Taiwo Mohameed 2-13)
Nigeria 116-2, 22.4 overs (Sulaimon Runsewe 56 not out, Elijah Olaleye 21; Ashley Thurgate 2-26)
Canada Under 19s beat UAE Under 19s by four wickets, Witrand Oval, Potchefstroom
UAE 174 all out, 44.1 overs (Alishan Sharafu 65 not out; Udaybir Walia 3-16, Akhil Kumar 3-37)
Canada 179-6, 42.2 overs (Udaybir Walia 42 not out, Harmanjeet Singh Bedi 40 not out; Rishabh Mukherjee 4-62)
ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2020 Fixtures
Super League Play-Off Semi Final 2: 2 February: Australia v Afghanistan, North West University Oval, Potchefstroom
11th Place Play-Off: 2 February: Scotland v Zimbabwe, Diamond Oval, Kimblerley
Plate Final: 3 February: Sri Lanka v England, Willowmoore Park, Benoni
Super League Semi Final 1: 4 February: India v Pakistan, JB Marks Oval, Potchefstroom
7th Place Play-Off: 5 February: South Africa v TBC, Willowmoore Park, Benoni
Super League Semi Final 2: 6 February: New Zealand v Bangladesh, JB Marks Oval, Potchefstroom
5th Place Play-Off: 7 February: West Indies v TBC, Willowmoore Park, Benoni