Basseterre: Skipper Mihir Patel scored a combative 96 but his innings went in vain as Canada were handed a 49-run defeat by UAE in their opening Group A clash of the U-19 World Cup.
Opting to bat, UAE rode on Punya Mehra (71) and Ali Naseer's (73) knocks to reach 284 for seven in their designated 50 overs. Their bowlers then performed as a cohesive unit to bowl out Canada for 235 in 46.5 over to open their campaign with a win on Saturday.
Naseer's destructive 73 off just 50 balls did the maximum damage for Alishan Sharafu's side after Mehra's well-judged 71 had put the wheels in motion for a strong first innings total.
The Canadians had UAE reeling at 47 for 3 but Mehra, Nilansh Keswani (39) and Sharafu (37) helped them recover to 174 for five.
And then came all-rounder Naseer's late innings pyrotechnics, as his brutal knock at a strike rate of 146 catapulted his team to a sizeable total.
Patel's Canada rallied with the captain leading from the front as his fine innings of 96 off 105 balls kept them continually in contention.
Wicketkeeper Anoop Chima (46) and lower-order batter Kairav Sharma (43) also offered resistance but two wickets each for Keswani, Sharafu, Adhitya Shetty and Jash Giyanani helped bowl Canada out for 235 to complete a hard-fought 49-run victory.
Cox catapults Ireland to comfortable win over Uganda
Wicketkeeper Joshua Cox scored a well-timed century before spinner Matthew Humphreys spun a web around Uganda as Ireland registered a 39-run win in the second match of the day.
After arriving at the crease with the score at 40 for two, Cox compiled a superb 111 not out off 113 balls to haul his team up to a total of 236 for nine.
Two wickets apiece for Juma Miyaji (2/56), Pascal Murungi (2/44), Joseph Baguma (2/34) and Matthew Musinguzi (2/35) sought to reel the Irish in but ably assisted by Philippus le Roux (32), Cox put his team in a commanding position at the interval.
Ugandan captain Murungi offered the underdogs a consistent glimmer of hope in the run chase but his knock of 63, bolstered by bowler Miyaji's blockbuster 38 at No.9, proved insufficient in causing a Group B upset.
Left-arm spinner Humphreys who opened the bowling for Ireland starred with the ball for Tim Tector's team as his four wickets for just 25 runs helped halt the Ugandan momentum and cap a 39-run triumph.
Zimbabwe thrash Papua New Guinea by 228 runs
In another match, Zimbabwe's firepower proved too much for Papua New Guinea as the former galloped to a massive 228-run victory in their Group C clash.
Opting to bat first, skipper Emmanuel Bawa (100) scored a superb century while David Bennett played a 58-run knock.
The Zimbabweans racked up a formidable total of 321 for nine from their 50 overs before a polished all-round bowling performance bundled out Papua New Guinea for 93 to complete a comprehensive 228-run victory in Port of Spain.
Papua New Guinea bowler Junior Morea dismissed opener Steven Saul early on but after Bawa entered the fray at 15 for one, he never looked back as his majestic hundred off just 95 balls helped haul his team to a match-winning score.
Bawa and Bennett compiled a century stand for the third wicket while opening batter and wicketkeeper Panashe Taruvinga (36), along with Victor Chirwa and Connor Mitchell who both scored 35 also made contributions.
Barnabas Maha's team never got going in response, with no batter mustering more than 15 runs as the wickets were shared equally among the Zimbabwean attack.
Ngenyasha Zvinoera, Brian Bennett and Victor Chirwa — all took two scalps apiece as Bawa's side bowled the underdogs out with 15 overs remaining to crank up for Monday's clash with Pakistan in perfect fashion.
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