West Indies levelled the Youth ODI series with South Africa U19 after a narrow two-wicket win in Pietermaritzburg on Wednesday.
SA captain Raynard van Tonder won the toss and elected to bat first, seeking a repeat of their emphatic opening victory by five wickets.
Jiveshan Pillay and Matthew Breetzke gave the hosts a steady start, reaching fifty in the 13th over. The openers kept the scoreboard ticking before Breetzke was caught at mid-on for 36.
Pillay followed shortly thereafter to leave the hosts on 90-2. First-match centurion Van Tonder fell for just five the very next ball to leave the hosts wobbling on 90-3. Disaster struck once more after Jesse Christensen was dismissed for a golden duck, three wickets tumbling without a run being scored.
Wandile Makwetu and Hermann Rolfes stopped the bleeding and led their side to 128 before Rolfes was caught for 19 off the bowling of Javier Spencer.
Curtis Campher came and went which left SA in desperate need of a partnership at 143-6. Makwetu and Gerald Coetzee put on a valuable 25 before the latter was out for seven.
Makwetu continued on to notch his fifty off 65 balls. The Windies finally saw the back of him later that over, Joshua Bishop bowling Makwetu for 53 (four fours).
The Proteas tail-enders added respectability to the score, Keenan Smith and Jade de Klerk scoring 16 runs off the final three overs as SA laboured to 207-8.
West Indies made an ideal start to the chase, scoring 43 runs in nine overs before Rolfes sent Keagan Simmons back to the hut for 14.
Bhaskar Yadram and captain Emmanuel Stewart helped the tourists into three-figures at the end of the 27th over. SA finally had their second when Van Tonder effected a run-out, Stewart out for 45.
The chase was dealt another blow when Coetzee struck, Cephas Cooper out for two, West Indies 122-3.
A decent 43-run partnership followed to close the deficit to just 43 runs before Yadram went for 81 (eight fours, one six). The loss of the opener triggered a mini-collapse, which led to the loss of a further three wickets, a run-out sandwiched between wickets from Coetzee and De Klerk respectively to leave the tourists struggling on 183-7.
The eighth-wicket partnership between Royal and Te-Shawn Alleyne looked set to steer West Indies to victory, taking their side to the 200-mark. Van Tonder’s second run-out of the innings to dismiss Alleyne, however, meant that the West Indies required seven runs off six overs with just two wickets in hand.
Royal was cool under pressure, however, striking ten runs off the 45th over. His boundary off the fourth ball sealed the victory, as he finished unbeaten on 31.
The sides will remain in Pietermaritzburg for the third clash, which takes place on Friday.
Photo: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images