A well-constructed century from New Zealand batsman Finn Allen took the tournament hosts to an eight wicket win against West Indies, in the opening game of the 2018 Under 19 Cricket World Cup at the Bay Oval Mount Maungauni on Saturday.
New Zealand won the toss and elected to bowl, with the West Indies getting away to a grand start.
West Indies openers Keagen Simmons and Kimani Melius put on a 123 run opening stand, before Melius was caught by Jakob Bhula of the bowling of Rachin Ravindra for 78.
Keagen Simmons continued the attack on the New Zealand bowling and at 199 for the loss of five wickets, the defending ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup titleholders looked to have a mortgage on the game.
The home side bowlers then tightened the screws in the last five overs, to restrict the West Indies to 233/8, after their regulation 50 overs. Keagen Simmons carried his bat to have 92 not out alongside his name on the score-card. Kiwi bowlers Rachin Ravindra and Mathew Fisher both picked up three wickets apiece.
New Zealand made a solid start before the first wicket fell with 46 runs on the board. Finn Allen then joined Jakob Bhula at the crease, with the pair settling in before taking charge to put together a 163 run partnership.
A short rain delay in the twelfth over, had little effect on the New Zealand charge for victory, which came in the 39th over for the loss of just two wickets.
Finn Allen was clinical in his control of ball and reached his century off 92 balls, before going on to finish with an unbeaten 115, that contained fifteen 4’s and two 6’s. Jakob Bhula was equally dominated at the crease, with the hosts victory a formality when he was dismissed for 83, with his side requiring just 25 runs to win.
Next up, New Zealand play Kenya in their Pool A match at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch on Wednesday. The New Zealand side’s final round robin match is against South Africa at the Bay Oval on Saturday January 20, which will in all likelihood will decide the winner of Pool A.
West Indies 233/8 (KA Simmons 92no, KS Melius 78, AS Athanaze 26; R Ravinder 3/30, MJ Fisher 3/61, FJM Murray 2/37) lost to New Zealand 234/2 (FH Allen 115no, JJNP Bhula 83)