Chittagong, Feb 2: The West Indies took the last quarter-final spot in the ICC U19 World Cup with a thrilling, but controversial, two-run win over Zimbabwe here today. Zimbabwe, chasing the West Indies’ 226 for nine, began the last over needing just three runs to win with one wicket in hand amid mounting tension.
But, the West Indies seamer Keemo Paul whipped off the bails before sending down the first ball, catching non-striker Richard Ngarava out of his crease. The decision was referred to the TV umpire who declared Ngarava run-out. According to the laws of the game, the bowler can claim a run out by whipping off the bails if the non-striker is out of the crease..(Also Read: ICC U-19 World Cup: Minnows Nepal shock New Zealand; easy win for Pakistan colts)
The last-wicket incident proved an anti-climax to what had been an absorbing do-or-die contest between two valiant teams attempting to nail a quarter-final berth. Zimbabwe, in its run-chase, was reduced to 147 for six following a four-wicket haul by fast bowler Alzaari Joseph, before
Adam Keefe (43) and Wesley Madhevere (21) led a remarkable fightback by adding 62 runs for the seventh wicket. Shamar Springer, who had top-scored with 61 in the West Indies innings, turned his team s hero with the ball by dismissing both batsmen to finish with two for 16 in four overs.
The West Indies will take on the winner of Wednesday s last league match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the fourth quarter-final in Fatullah on February 8, while Zimbabwe will play Canada in the Plate Championships quarter-final in Cox s Bazar on February 5.
West Indies coach Graeme West admitted it was a tight match: “It got very tight and we knew that this was a game that was always going down to the wire. A bit of nip and tuck. It (the finish) was certainly not something we had envisaged. “I can imagine what they (Zimbabwe team) must be going through now. I feel sorry for them because they got themselves into winning positions and then we pulled it back. I share their disappointment.
“Our objective was to progress to the quarters and doing that after a tense game was very pleasing. We are still not there and have to take care of the little things that we are not doing right at the moment.” Zimbabwe coach Stephen Mangongo was expectedly disappointed.
“I am disappointed with the way the game ended. I have debriefed the boys in the dressing room and they were all crying. We have explained that technically the run-out is legal. We left it to the last man and we should not have done that. It was a hard lesson and they have learnt it the hard way.”
Meanwhile, Bangladesh topped Group A with an eight-wicket demolition of second-placed Namibia, ending the match in Cox s Bazar in one session itself.