FATULLAH, Bangladesh (CMC) – Captain Shimron Hetmyer struck a half-century in a timely return to form, while opener Tevin Imlach chipped in with another as West Indies Under-19 reached the final four of the Under-19 Cricket World Cup with a convincing five-wicket over Pakistan Under-19 here yesterday.
Playing in the last quarter-final at Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium, the Young Windies successfully chased down 228 with 10 overs to spare, to set up a meeting with hosts Bangladesh on Thursday.
They were carried by Imlach who top-scored with 54 and Hetmyer who turned the page on a run of indifferent form with 52.
Shamar Springer chimed in with 37, Jyd Goolie got an unbeaten 26, while Gidron Pope, 25, and Keemo Paul, 24 not out, played key roles as well.
The Caribbean side cruised at 122 for one in the 20th over, but lost three wickets for 25 runs to slump to 147 for four in the 28th over.
However, any hopes of a late Pakistan comeback were dashed as Goolie anchored two successive stands to see his side home. He first added 43 for the fifth wicket with Springer before putting on 39 in an unbroken sixth-wicket partnership with Paul.
“This is a wonderful result for us. It feels good to be through to the semi-finals,” Hetmyer said afterward.
“We just stuck to our plans and executed what we had worked on at practice. It was probably a good toss to lose because our bowlers did very well to take those early wickets.”
Opting to bat first, Pakistan slid to 57 for five at the end of the 21st over before recovering to reach a competitive 227 for seven off 50 overs.
They were helped by a brilliant 113 from wicketkeeper Umair Masood who added 164 runs for the sixth wicket with Salman Fayyaz, who finished on 58 not out.
Fast bowler Chemar Holder, playing in his first game of the tournament after being called up last week as an injury replacement, snapped up two for 26 in a quick spell.
He removed Captain Zeeshan Malik for three in the fourth over, top-edging a pull at a short ball for Ryan John to take an easy catch running in from square leg.
New batsman Shadab Khan followed for one in Holder’s next over, caught at slip by Hetmyer, and when impressive fast bowler Alzarri Joseph trapped Mohammad Umar lbw with a yorker for eight, Pakistan were sinking at 21 for three in the ninth over.
Saif Badar (10) and Hasan Mohsin (19) fell to catches at the wicket soon after, but Masood and Fayyaz then rescued the innings with a splendid partnership.
Masood faced 115 balls and counted 15 fours and two sixes while Fayyaz hammered three fours and a six in a 79-ball innings.
The partnership ended off the first ball of the final over when Masood was caught at the wicket, trying to scoop a full toss from seamer John over the ‘keeper’s head.
In reply, West Indies got two solid stands up front to take firm control of the encounter. Imlach put on 45 off 38 deliveries for the first wicket with Pope, whose 25 needed just 18 balls and included two fours and two sixes.
When Pope slapped an innocuous delivery from left-arm spinner Ahmad Shafiq to Mohsin at point, Hetmyer joined Imlach to post a further 77 for the second wicket.
The left-handed Hetmyer, with just 23 runs from his previous four innings, faced 42 deliveries and counted eight fours and a six, while Imlach carved out five fours off 76 balls.
Three balls after reaching his half-century, Hetmyer was deceived in flight by leg-spinner Shadab Khan and stumped, triggering a slide which saw Keacy Carty (7) and Imlach both perish via the run out route.
Springer then helped rally the innings with his run-a-ball knock, containing three fours and two sixes in partnership with Goolie, that took the Young Windies to within sight of victory.
Springer’s demise — holing out at cover off seamer Sameen Gul — saw Goolie settle down with Paul to steer West Indies to a comfortable win.
All told, Goolie faced 32 balls and counted two fours, while Paul reeled off a cameo, striking four fours and a six in a 16-ball knock.