Tagnarine Chanderpaul will hope for a change in fortune if he plays today
By Rajiv Bisnauth
The West Indies Under-19s face a tough task of putting their seven-match limited overs series back on track after three consecutive defeats to their Bangladeshi counterparts.
The two teams will face each other in the fifth limited overs game today in a day/night fixture at the Guyana National Stadium.
The juniors Tigers, who lead the series 3-1, suffered a six-wicket defeat to the hosts in the first match but bounced back in the second match to level the series to beat West Indies U-19 by 63 runs.
The Bangladesh youth side took 2-1 lead after crushing their West Indies counterpart by 198 runs in the third game and further widened the margin by 3-1 with a four-wicket win in the fourth game on Monday.
Statistics give Bangladesh the edge. However, the Windies will try desperately to keep their hopes alive, but victory will depend largely on how they tackle the Bangladeshi spinners.
The wickets here prove to be more conducive for spinners and the visiting side has effectively used them to their advantage.
Sadman Islam Anik has been in tremendous form (WICB photo)
A win today will take the Asian side to a 4-1 lead and a series win. However, if the West Indies U-19s manage to regroup after three horrifying showings, they will place themselves in a possible zone to draw the series, providing they win the final two games.
The Bangladeshi batsmen have racked up tall totals that led by the likes of wicketkeeper and vice captain Jashim Uddin, along with Mossadek Hossain Saikat, Sadman Islam Anik, Nazmul Hasan Shanto and skipper Mehedi Hasan Miraj.
Likewise their bowlers have been effective on the various surfaces, utilising the majority of slow bowlers who have managed to deceive the West Indies youth batsmen. Javed Ferdous Rahuttul and Miraj have so far taken five-wicket hauls, while their fast and medium bowlers have made early inroads.
The misfiring WI U19 batsmen need to improve if the team is to put up more of a challenge in the remainder of the series.
The West Indies have not yet replicated a proper batting performance since the first game. Son of West Indies star Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Tagenarine, has not yet lived up to his expectations and is in and out of the team, while players such as Leroy Lugg, who scored the only half-century in the West Indies team, has failed in the other games.
Mehedi Hasan Miraj took a five-wicket haul in the last limited overs game (WICB photo)
Jeremy Solozano continues to hold up his end, while the dangerous Shimron Hetymer has not yet got off to a flier.
Trinidadian wicket-keeper Nicholas Pooran, who had an incredible inaugural Caribbean Premier League (CPL), failed in his first game played on Monday.
Their bowlers have so far shown the consistency in making breakthroughs; as such their slow bowling unit led by Gudakesh Motie-Kanhai, continues to bowl exceptionally and has been picking up wickets while being economically effective.
Today’s game commences at 13:30h and admission is free.