West Indies storm to Under-15 title

West Indies 228 for 9 (Brathwaite 82, Senior 50) beat Pakistan 139 (Azam 51, Senior 4-24) by 89 runs

Eight years after the West Indies first lifted the International Under-15 trophy, a new batch of youngsters proved that they have what it takes as they defeated Pakistan by 89 runs in the 2008 CLICO International Under-15 Championship final at Queen's Park Oval, Port of Spain.
Pakistan, who defeated the West Indies by two runs in the Knockout final of the competition in St Kitts last month, were dismissed for 139 after the home team, led by a patient 82 from prolific Kraigg Brathwaite and a dominating 50 from Man of the Match Raman Senior, reached 228 for 9 after winning the toss and electing to take first strike.

Openers Brathwaite and John Campbell again laid a solid foundation for the Windies, posting a stroke filled 61-run partnership at more than a run-a-ball for the first wicket. Campbell was the aggressor in the stand which at times was frustrated by spinners Hafiz Usman Qadir and Mirza Ahsan Jamil when they were introduced from the 11th over.

Qadir went for one run in his opening over and Jamil followed that with a maiden which forced Campbell to hit out. Qadir eventually had him caught inside the long-on boundary by Zafar Gohar for 37 which included five boundaries.

After Campbell departed, the runs quickly dried up, with Qadir bowling two consecutive maidens and Jamil containing the runs on the other end. But that was all the time that new batsman Roman Senior needed to get into his groove.

Senior played the spinners well in compiling his runs and started to grow in confidence as he approached his 50. Gohar was then brought back into the attack with Senior having plundered a four and then a six, which was pushed over the ropes by the fielder on the boundary, to bring up his half century in 79 minutes from 84 balls. Gohar got his revenge with his next ball when Senior was stumped. But his 85-run stand for the second wicket with Brathwaite pushed the Windies to 151 for 2.

At that stage, the Windies' batting began to wobble. Sunil Ambris was run out by a direct throw from midwicket for two and Kyle Mayers sent an easy catch to Gohar off Qadir for 5. Akeem Saunders then struck two fours to take the home team past the 200-run mark but he was run-out shortly after.

Brathwaite played a key role in holding the innings together during his stay of 128 balls. But as the overs began running out, he decided to take some risks and was run out with three overs left in the innings. Offspinner Qadir finished with figures of 3 for 25. Donovan Nelson and Kaveem Hodge then exploited the last over bowled by Jamil, collecting 18 runs, with Hodge getting off the mark with a six and Nelson hitting the last two balls for a six and a four respectively.

The West Indies put themselves in further control when Kyle Mayers struck with the first ball of Pakistan's innings to remove Muhammad Naeem via the lbw route.

Pakistan were in more trouble after Ahsan Ali was run out for 8 after putting on 32 runs with the skipper Muhammad Babar. The visitors went further adrift when off-spinner Senior took two wickets in three balls when he trapped Ahsan Ali Abbasi lbw for two and bowled Muhammad Nawaz (0) in the seventh over of the innings. But he could not pull Pakistan out of trouble and after bringing up his half century, he played a lofted drive to Senior at long-on off the bowling of Derone Davis for 51.

Qadir made a menacing 21, while Jamil contributed a stubborn 17 as Pakistan crossed the hundred mark. However, that was their only consolation as they were all out in 42.4 overs thanks to Senior's four for 24.

Young West Indies had evened the score in a most convincing way.