Stewart finds touch to help Windies into Plate semis

Nyeem Young goes on the attack during his quick-fire half-century against Ireland Under-19s. (Photo courtesy ICC Media).

LINCOLN, New Zealand, CMC – Captain Emmanuel Stewart broke out of a worrisome rut with his first half-century of the ICC Youth World Cup while Nyeem Young struck his second successive one, as West Indies Under-19s easily beat Ireland Under-19s by four wickets in their Plate quarter-final here yesterday.

Asked to chase a challenging 279 at Bert Sutcliffe Oval, the deposed champions got home in the penultimate over, to clinch their spot in the semi-finals of the Plate.

Young stroked an exciting unbeaten top socre of 55 off 33 deliveries while Bhaskar Yadram struck 53 and Emmanuel Stewart, 50.

Kirstan Kallicharan chipped in with 46 and Cephas Cooper, 29, while fast bowler Max Neville picked up two for 53.

Ireland had earlier posted a healthy 278 for eight off their 50 overs thanks to a superb 99 from Neil Rock and 69 from captain Harry Tector.

Opener Mark Donegan supported with 38 while Joshua Little scored a lively 24 down the order.

Opting to bat first, Donegan gave the Irish a solid start by adding 33 for the first wicket with Jamie Grassi (11) and a further 36 for the second with Morgan Topping (17).

Left-arm spinner Jeavor Royal, who finished with three for 59, struck twice in successive deliveries in the 18th over, removing Topping and Sam Murphy (0) to send Ireland tumbling to 76 for four.

However, Rock and Tector combined in a fifth wicket stand worth 116 before Rock partnered with Little to put on a further 48 for the sixth wicket, to patch up the innings.

Rock faced 101 balls and struck nine fours and a six while Tector counted eight fours in a 76-ball innings. Little, meanwhile, belted three fours and a six in a 21-ball knock which helped galvanise the innings late on.

The last salvo came when Rock and Graham Kennedy (8) squeezed 30 from 14 balls in an effective seventh wicket stand.

Yadram, without a score of note for the tournament, then found his touch in his 75-run, opening stand from 78 balls with the in-form Kimani Melius who made 21.

The right-handed Yadram faced 48 balls and counted eight fours and was taking the attack to the Irish bowlers when he perished in the 13th over, triggering a slide where three wickets fell for 34 runs, leaving Young Windies on 109 for three in the 21st over.

But Stewart, with just four runs in three previous innings, took charge of the innings in a 62-run, fourth wicket stand with Kallicharan.

He struck five fours and a six in a measured 67-ball knock while Kallicharan faced 66 deliveries and counted six fours.

However, both fell in the space of 29 balls with 23 runs added, as West Indies stumbled to 194 for five in the 39th overs – still requiring a further 85 runs for victory.

Young arrived to allay any lingering fears, punching eight fours and a six in a quick-fire knock. He put on 51 off 35 deliveries with Cooper before combining with Royal (11 not out) in an unbroken seventh wicket partnership worth 36, to put the Windies over the line.

West Indies clash with Canada on Friday in their Plate semi-final.

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