NORTH SOUND, Antigua, CMC – Under-19 World Cup star, Keemo Paul, stroked his maiden Regional Super50 half-century but it was not enough to save West Indies Under-19s as they collapsed to a six-wicket defeat to Kent Spitfires here Sunday.
All-rounder Paul was impressive with a stroke-filled 72, an innings that helped pulled the Under-19s around from 83 for five in the 32nd over and lift them to 191 for eight off their 50 overs at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground.
Captain Kirstan Kallicharan chimed in with 47 and Shamar Springer got 26 but the Under-19s innings never really found flight and they failed to crack the 200-run mark.
New ball bowlers Matt Coles (3-42) and Calum Haggett (3-43) did the early damage with three wickets apiece.
In reply, Kent strolled to their target in the 45th over with wicketkeeper Adam Rouse top-scoring with 61 not out and Sean Dickson getting 53.
Opener Daniel Bell-Drummond struck 29 from 36 deliveries while opening partner Adam Ball weighed in with 25, in a stand of 50 for the first wicket.
When they both departed to leave Kent on 64 for two in the 18th over, Rouse and Dickson combined in a 104-run partnership for the third wicket to set up the win.
Rouse faced 105 deliveries and counted one four and a six while Dickson hit two fours and a six in a 76-ball knock.
Left-arm quick Obed McCoy was the best Under-19s bowle with two for 47.
Earlier, winning the toss and choosing to bat, the Under-19s were tottering at 20 for four in the eighth over before Kallicharan, Springer and then Paul came to their side’s rescue.
First, Kallicharan and Springer put on a critical 63 for the fifth wicket before Paul and Kallicharan added a further 46 for the sixth wicket.
Kallicharan, a member of the successful Under-19 World Cup side, struck three fours in a responsible 110-ball knock before perishing in the 44th over at 129 for six.
Paul then took charge in a belligerent innings which required only 57 balls and included four fours and five sixes. Importantly, he added 41 for the seventh wicket with
Joshua Bishop (10), which helped Under-19s extend their rally in the death overs.
UNDER-19s 191 for eight off 50 overs (Keemo Paul 73 not out, KirstanKallicharan 48, Shamar Springer 26)
KENT 194 for four off 44.5 overs (Adam Rouse 66 not out, Sean Dickson 52)