The West Indies Rising Stars opened their ICC Women’s U19 World Cup campaign with a 7-run win over Ireland Women’s U19 at the North-West University Oval.
They were led by Zaida James, who starred with bat and ball, to give the popular Windies a winning start to their campaign. She scored 52 with the bat and then followed that up with 4-20 with the ball in a sparkling performance.
Having been put in to bat first the West Indian openers James and Shunelle Sawh put up 61 for the first wicket as the Irish bowlers struggled early.
However, the bowlers bounced back and had some success late on, with Sargent taking two wickets in three balls to slow the West Indies momentum, and restricting them to 125-3 after 20 overs.
Freya Sargent (2-9) and Aimee Maguire (1-16) were the picks of the Irish bowlers.
In response to the Windies total, Ireland lost Siuin Woods early, before Hunter and Annabelle Squires put together 46 for the second wicket.
Squires struck four boundaries, in a well-paced 42 from 38 balls, while Hunter was more circumspect – 21 off 25 balls.
Having lost opener Siúin Woods early on, the second-wicket partnership between Hunter and Squires gave Ireland a great start in their response. However, it was Player of the Match James who struck to remove both batters in the middle overs.
A late cameo from Zara Craig and Sargent did gave Ireland some hope of victory, but James struck again to settle the contest and West indies held out to win by eight runs.
The victory sees the West Indies move to the top of the table in Group C, with 2 points and a Net Run Rate of +0.350.
They play Indonesia on Tuesday, January 17 at North-West University Oval, Potchefstroom – 7:45 am Eastern Caribbean/6:45am Jamaica.
Zaida James told CWI Media, “It’s certainly a great feeling to have an all-round performance like this and even better that we had a team victory. Our focus is one game at a time and to finish the group stage strong, then we will look at the remaining stages of the tournament.”
Scores in brief:
Toss won by Ireland, who decided to bowl first.
West Indies 125 for three in 20 overs (Zaida James 52, Naijanna Cumberbatch 21 not out, Freya Sargent two for 9)
Ireland 118 for seven in 20 overs (Annabelle Squire 42, Amy Hunter 21, Zaida James four for 20)
West Indies won by seven runs.