West Indies Under-19 crashed out of the ICC Under-19 World Cup after a shocking two-wicket defeat to New Zealand and missed out on a spot in the final four of the One-Day International (ODI) last week in South Africa.
The regional team dropped four catches, missed a vital run out while conceding 38 runs from the last three full overs, as they squandered a winning position.
Defending 238 runs at Willomoore Park, the Caribbean side reduced the young Kiwis to 153 for eight in the 35th over after left-arm spinner Ashmead Nedd had ripped through the innings with an excellent spell of three for 33 runs from his 10 overs.
But eventual Man-of-the-Match, Kristian Clarke, with an unbeaten 46 and Joey Field, 38 not out, displayed composure and maturity beyond their years in a record unbroken ninth-wicket partnership of 86, to turn the game into a nail-biting finish for New Zealand to gain victory with two balls to spare.
Clarke struck three fours and a six off 42 balls, while Field faced 58 balls and counted three fours.
With the pressure mounting, West Indies’ fielding fell apart and New Zealand capitalized to whittle down a required asking rate from nearly 11 by taking 14 runs from both the 47th and 48th overs and another 10 from the 49th over.
West Indies missed a big opportunity of the last ball of the 49th over when Field raced back to the striker’s end for a second run but wicketkeeper Leonardo Julien failed to gather the return, which would have found the batsman out of his ground.
West Indies had won their three matches in Group B beating powerhouses Australia and England and little-fancied Nigeria.
West Indies, who were the former 2016 champions, ended the Group with six points to reach the quarter finals.