MOUNT MAUNGANUI, New Zealand (CMC) – West Indies Under19s’ title defence ended in shambles with a heavy 76- run defeat to South Africa Under-19s, but controversy accompanied their disappointing exit from the ICC Youth World Cup in New Zealand Wednesday.

Asked to chase 283 at Bay Oval, the young Caribbean side collapsed from 177 for four in the 39th over to 206 all out in the 46th, to crash to their second straight defeat following their loss to hosts New Zealand Under-19s in their opener last Saturday.

Alick Athanaze topscored with 76 and Kirstan Kallicharan chimed in with 44, but fast bowler Hermann Rolfes rocked the Windies with four for 33 to put South Africa in command. The defeat left the reigning champions third in Group A without a point and eliminating them from reaching the second round.

To complicate matters, captain Emmanuel Stewart sparked a firestorm during the South Africa innings when he appealed for an obstructing the field dismissal and had batsman Jiveshan Pillay controversially given out.

The left-handed Pillay had effortlessly cruised to 47 off 51 deliveries when he inside-edged a drive at fast bowler Jarion Hoyte and then watched carefully as the ball rolled to a stop next to his stumps. However, he subsequently picked up the ball and tossed it to Stewart who then appealed and after umpires consulted, Pillay was given out for obstruction under Law 37.4.

Stewart’s actions drew heavy criticism from past and current players, reminiscent of the Mankad incident during the last Under-19 World Cup when West Indies also found themselves at the centre of controversy.

The contentious decision also soured the contest and detracted from South Africa’s innings, highlighted by a superb, run-a-ball unbeaten 99 from wicketkeeper Wandile Makwetu. Gerald Coetzee chipped in with 29 and Kenan Smith, 22, as the South Africans got up to a challenging 282 for eight off their 50 overs after they were sent in.