Thain hits 40 but England lose to Windies at U19 World Cup


Noah Thain being in the runs once more was not enough to prevent England from slipping to defeat to West Indies in their final group-stage match at the Under-19 World Cup.

Thain struck 40 to back up his unbeaten 63 against hosts South Africa on Tuesday, but despite the Windies losing eight wickets, they narrowly chased down England’s 192 all out in 41 overs.

However, the Three Lions have still topped Group B and secured safe progress to the Super Six stage, where they will be joined in a new group by Australia, Sri Lanka, and one of Namibia or Zimbabwe.

Luc Benkenstein and Charlie Allison also retained their places in the England side, who lost the toss and were asked to bat first in Potchefstroom.

Batting at three, Thain provided some resistance to the early loss of Jaydn Denly by putting on 50 for the second wicket with captain Ben McKinney.

He then added a further 47 with top-scorer Hamza Shaikh, who individually made 54, but beyond the contributions of that pair, England struggled.

The Three Lions were eventually bowled out in 46.3 overs as Nathan Edward took three wickets, while a further six were split evenly between Isai Thorne, Raneico Smith, and Tarrique Edward.

In reply, West Indies also lost a wicket in the first over, that of Adrian Weir, but captain Stephan Pascal underpinned the first half of the chase with a measured 58.

When he was caught by Thain off the bowling of Tazeem Ali, the Windies were six down and still required 44, but it was Sint Maarten-born Nathan Edward who took up the mantle.

He hit an unbeaten 49 to shepherd his side over the line, including the winning four, even as Benkenstein bowled his namesake Tarrique in his sole over, the penultimate one of the innings.

Barring a colossal net run-rate swing, Australia will top Group C ahead of Sri Lanka, while the identity of the African nation who will finish third and join them in the Super Six will be confirmed tomorrow.

Regardless of whether it is Namibia or Zimbabwe, both of whom are winless so far, England will play them in the next stage on Wednesday 31 January, again in Potchefstroom, at 8:00am GMT.

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