Under-19s seek perfect performance
KIMBERLEY, South Africa, (CMC) :
Boosted by victories in their two warm-up matches during the week, 2016 champions West Indies will look to make a winning start to their ICC Under-19 World Cup campaign when they take on 2018 runners-up Australia in their opening match here today.
The Caribbean side beat Canada by three wickets in Soweto on Monday before returning to crush Scotland by 126 runs in Pretoria on Wednesday, results that not only allowed them to acclimatise to conditions but also bolster their confidence.
West Indies head coach Graeme West wants “a perfect performance” from his players.
“The two warm-up games were certainly competitive and provided all squad members with opportunities to demonstrate their skills and show that they had made the necessary adjustments to the conditions and wickets to be effective,” West said.
“The Scotland performance was an improvement on the Canada game when Nyeem Young and Antonio Morris batted superbly to turn the game around.
“The bowling unit was slightly below par against Canada given how well they have performed since the Tri Series in December, but on Wednesday against Scotland we were far more controlled and disciplined.”
He added: “The most pleasing aspect of the Scotland game was the contribution from the top four batters who needed some time out in the middle. Kevlon Anderson’s hundred was well paced as he mixed good strike rotation with some power hitting.
“Captain Kimani Melius and Leonardo Julien had set the tempo for the innings with run-a-ball half-centuries on a wicket that was well suited to their stroke play and positive intent.”
West Indies will need a sterling effort to progress to the quarter-finals. Installed in Group B, they also take on powerful England and minnows Nigeria, and now they will have to upset one of the highly favoured sides in order to advance.
In a candid assessment, West said his side would need to “a perfect performance” in order to beat either Australia or England.
SQUAD: Kimani Melius (captain), Nyeem Young, Ashmead Nedd, Leonardo Julien, Kevlon Anderson, Daniel Beckford, Matthew Forde, Joshua James, Antonio Morris, Mbeki Joseph, Avinash Mahabirsingh, Kirk McKenzie, Ramon Simmonds, Matthew Patrick, Jayden Seales.