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Gidron Pope helps West Indies Under-19s lift ICC title

Gidron Pope helps West Indies Under-19s lift ICC title

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Vincentian Gidron Pope is now part of West Indies cricket history, as his efforts helped the regional Under-19 team lift, for the first time, the ICC Youth Cricket Cup.

This was achieved last Sunday at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Bangladesh.{{more}}

Pope, who scored only three in last Sunday’s final against India, was vital in previous matches and laid the foundations in the West Indies batting at the top of the order.

The left handed Pope struck 60 versus England, blasted 76 against Fiji and made 30 against Zimbabwe. He struck 25 when the West Indies met Pakistan in the quarter-finals.

His belligerent 38 from 25 balls against Bangladesh in the semi-final was vital in throwing the opponent’s opening bowlers off their line, which the later batsmen capitalised on.

Pope ended the tournament with 232 runs at an average of 38.66. He also scalped seven wickets at the cost of 23.14 runs apiece.

Pope’s performance earned him a place on ESPNCricinfo Best XI of the Under-19 world cup.

The ESPNCricinfo citation read: “Pope has been one of the most talked-about players in the competition, mainly due to his big-hitting in the first ten overs… Handy bowling and a motor-mouth while doing so has also made him endearing for followers… In the years to come, Pope could become a popular choice in the T20 leagues.”

But while Pope enjoyed a piece of history, fellow Vincentian Obed Mc Coy had to return home from the tournament, after splitting the webbing of his left hand.

In the excitement of last Sunday and the realisation of a date with destiny, the West Indies Under-19s were set 146 to win on a tricky pitch.

After a few flutters, the young West Indians reached 146 for five, with three balls to spare in the 50-over per side encounter.

Struggling at 77 for 5, Keacy Carty and vice-captain Keeno Paul stitched up the innings with a stand of 69 without further loss.

Mayank Dagar threatened to spoil the West Indians’ intent with 3 for 25, Carty and Paul came up trumps.

Carty scored 52 from 125 balls in which he counted just two fours and Paul – 40 in 60 balls, hitting a four and a six.

Earlier, incisive bowling by Alzarri Joseph, who creamed off the Indians’ top order with 3 for 39 and later Ryan John – 3 for 38 and Paul – 2 for 17, sent their opponents packing for 145 in 45.1 overs.

Sarfaraz Khan topscored with 51 off 89 balls for India.

When the West Indies crossed the line in the 50th, the emotions contrasted, with the victors jubilant in unbridled celebrations, with the Indians crestfallen and moved to tears.

The West Indies went into the tournament as unlikely winners and their three-nil defeat by host Bangladesh in warm up matches added to their ranking.

The Caribbean side opening match in the main draw saw them going under to England by 62.

They redeemed themselves with a 262 runs win over Fiji, before getting past Zimbabwe by two runs in controversial fashion.

Gaining a place in the quarter finals, the West Indies registered a five-wicket win at the expense of Pakistan, then stunned the host with three wicket win in the semi-finals.

Prior to last Sunday’s title earner, the West Indies’ best showing in the global age group tournament was a 25 run loss to Pakistan in the 2004 final.

Their outings in 2012 and 2014, saw the West Indians finishing sixth on both occasions.

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