West Indies rode on its fast-bowling arsenal to win the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup for the first time with a tense five-wicket victory over three-time winner India in the final in Mirpur on Sunday.
The pace trio of Alzarri Joseph, Ryan John and Chemar Holder shone on a spicy, moisture-laden pitch to demolish India’s fancied batting line-up for 145 after electing to field.
Sarfaraz Khan played a lone hand for the Rahul Dravid-coached Indian team with 51, his fifth half-century in six matches, as Joseph and John picked up three wickets each and Keemo Paul two.
West Indies slipped to 77 for five in reply against the steady India attack before Keacy Carty (52 not out) and Paul (40 not out) put on 69 for the unfinished sixth wicket to steer their team home with three deliveries to spare.
It was the first major title for the West Indies at any level since Darren Sammy’s senior team won the ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka in 2012.
Skipper Shimron Hetmyer’s boys won the tournament after defeating three sub-continent teams – Pakistan, Sri Lanka and India – in the knockout rounds.
“We were not supposed to be the champions, but we did it,” he said. “I feel good, words can’t explain how good I feel. The way the guys played showed how much we wanted to win the tournament.