Bennett brothers shine in Under-19 World Cup playoff defeat
Zimbabwe Under-19s – 256-4 in 50 overs (David Bennett 77*, Brian Bennett 62, Connor Mitchell 42*; Johann Layne 2/44, Giovonte Depeiza 1/42)
West Indies Under-19s – 262-2 in 49.2 overs (Teddy Bishop 112*, Kevin Wickham 104, Rivaldo Clarke 28*; Brian Bennett 1/31, Matthew Schonken 1/38)
West Indies Under-19s won by eight wickets
Two excellent fifties by the Bennett brothers, Brian and David, were not enough to give the Zimbabwe Under-19s a win over the West Indies Under-19s in their ICC Under-19 Men’s Cricket World Cup 2022 11th-place playoff match at Diego Martin in Trinidad on Monday.
The hosts romped home to victory by eight wickets.
The Zimbabwe Under-19s captain, Emmanuel Bawa, again won the toss and as usual decided to bat.
Matthew Welch quickly scored 10 and looked in good form, only to be caught off the bowling of Johanne Layne in the third over.
Bawa himself did not last long, and he was also caught off Layne for nine, leaving the score at 25 for two after seven overs.
Brian Bennett joined Steven Saul, and the pair worked hard to bring about a recovery, and 80 runs were on the board when Saul was run out for 34 in the 30th over.
Then came two fine partnerships that dominated the bowling, as David Bennett joined his twin brother Brian and they added 102 in 22.3 overs, the score being 182 for four when Brian was caught at the wicket for 62 off 84 balls, including eight fours, in the 43rd over.
The scoring rate was not as high as would be desirable, but Connor Mitchell was the right man to improve that, as he hammered the bowlers in fine style to score 42 not out off 26 balls, with two sixes and four fours.
David Bennett was still there when the innings closed at 256 for four wickets after 50 overs, with 77 not out off 105 balls, with three sixes and seven fours.
In their reply, the West Indies Under-19s started off badly as their captain, Matthew Nandu, was lbw to Brian Bennett’s first ball, the second over of the innings, for a single.
But then came 34 overs of fruitless toil for the Zimbabwean bowlers, as Teddy Bishop was joined by Kevin Wickham, and these two took charge of the bowling and swung the match their way with a magnificent partnership of 194 for the second wicket.
The leg-spinner Matthew Schonken commanded the most respect and it was he who finally broke the stand, although by this stage a West Indian victory was almost certain.
With the score at 195 after 35 overs, Schonken finally had Wickham caught by Mcgini Dube for 104, scored off 116 balls and containing 17 fours.
Rivaldo Clarke joined Bishop, but batted slowly, perhaps trying to help Bishop to his century.
Bishop duly reached his century in the 47th over and then celebrated with a six.
The West Indies Under-19s cut it rather fine in the end, winning with only four balls to spare.
Bishop finished with 112 not out off 121 balls, with a six and 11 fours, while Clarke was not out with 28.
Schonken finished with the best figures of the Zimbabwean bowlers, with one wicket for only 38 runs in his 10 overs.
The Zimbabwe Under-19s therefore have to be content to finish in 12th place at the ICC Under-19 Men’s Cricket World Cup 2022 after a rather mixed bag of performances.