England U19s started their tri-series in Antigua with a win and a loss against the West Indies at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in two low-scoring encounters.
The series opener on Friday went to the hosts, with a five-wicket haul from Guyana spinner Ashmead Need giving the West Indies a 36-run victory.
Put into bat, the West Indies relied on a second-wicket partnership of 90 to take them to a competitive score of 164 all out.
Mbeki Joseph and Leonardo Julien dug in for 25 overs in tough batting conditions as England restricted scoring opportunities. Captain George Balderson was particularly miserly, taking two for 17 from his eight overs.
Kasey Aldridge was the pick of the England bowlers, taking four for 38 from ten overs as the West Indies lost their last seven wickets for 42 runs.
But England found batting equally tough in reply, losing Ben Charlesworth for a duck in the second over. Tom Clark blasted 22 from 12 balls before departing and Jordan Cox followed the following over.
While four players made starts, including an innings-high 28 from Aldridge at number nine, wickets fell regularly for the visitors, who were bowled out for 128.
Sunday’s encounter went with England, though, with impressive performances from Dan Mousley with the bat and Balderson with the ball.
England chose to bat first and set the West Indies 170 to win. Clark hit a run-a-ball 34 at the top of the order but the Young Lions slipped to 114 for eight with 11 overs remaining.
Mousley (48) and Scott Currie put on 55 for the ninth wicket to take the score to 169, which proved a winning score.
Balderson struck early with the ball, removing Joseph and Julien within three balls of the fifth over, returning in the middle overs to take two more wickets. Aldridge impressed again with three important wickets, with Kent spinner Hamidullah Qadri taking two.
England’s next match comes against Sri Lanka U19s on Wednesday 10 December.
Wed 11 Dec: ODI v Sri Lanka U19 – Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Antigua
Thu 12 Dec: ODI v West Indies U19 – Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Antigua
Sun 15 Dec: ODI v Sri Lanka U19 – Coolidge Cricket Ground, Antigua
Thu 19 Dec: ODI v Sri Lanka U19 – Coolidge Cricket Ground, Antigua
Sat 21 Dec: Tri-Series Final – Coolidge Cricket Ground, Antigua