Cariah ton gives Windies third spot
West Indies U-19 294 for 6 (Cariah 110*, Campbell 77, Peiris 3-38, Rajaguru 2-41) beat Sri Lanka U-19 291 for 6 (Rajakaruna 94, Jayasundera 77) by 4 wickets
A responsible, unbeaten century from middle-order batsman Yannic Cariah and a strong support act from No 3 John Campbell steered West Indies to a four-wicket victory against Sri Lanka in Christchurch and secured for them the third place in the Under-19 World Cup standings.
The day did not start off so well for West Indies - their decision to bowl first came unstuck in the face of a confident opening stand between Denuwan Rajakaruna and Udara Jayasundera, who added 174 in 35.1 overs. The attack seemed to have run out of ideas but the breakthrough came courtesy a run out. Cariah, who was also the pick of the West Indies attack, conceding 34 in his nine overs when his team-mates leaked runs, struck soon after to remove Dhanushka Gunathilleke.
Rajakaruna fell six short of a well-deserved hundred and West Indies smelt an opportunity to stifle the momentum, but their hopes were dented by the in-form Bhanuka Rajapaksa, who struck an unbeaten 43. With Rumesh Buddika and, to a lesser extent Chatura Peiris, going for the big hits, Sri Lanka motored along in the last ten overs, with the final 91 runs coming in 53 balls.
The target of 292 became more difficult when Peiris removed West Indies' best batsman in the tournament, Kraigg Braithwaite, first ball, and in his second over took out Trevon Griffith. At that stage, Sri Lanka looked set to win the game, but Campbell and Cariah had other ideas. Campbell kept up the run-rate, hitting four sixes and six fours in his attractive 77 off 70 balls. When he fell in the 21st over, having added 120 runs in 111 balls with Cariah, West Indies were right back in it.
Shane Dowrich ensured that the momentum stayed with them, adding 49 in 45 balls with Cariah, who had set his sights on batting through. Nadeera Rajaguru got the better of Dowrich and accounted for Yannick Oatley's wicket soon after to stifle the West Indian charge.
The match was on a knife-edge when Jermaine Blackwood joined Cariah and their partnership tilted the game decisively in West Indies's favour. Blackwood hammered two fours and two sixes in his 45-ball 41 while Cariah eased to his century. Sri Lanka used eight bowlers with little success till Peiris came back to scalp Blackwood, in the process moving to joint-second in the bowling honours board for the tournament. It was too little too late, though, and Sri Lanka had to settle for the fourth spot.