Bangladeshi youths literally shattered their opponents in the first two games of ACC U-19 Asia Cup but the ultimate test was due before today’s game against Pakistan. The opponent was in a cornered position as they had gone through a defeat against Afghanistan and has to win this match covering a clear margin to secure a bonus point and aggregate net run rate. Pakistan managed to beat Bangladesh but failed to meet the criteria of run rate. As a consequence, they have to return home without playing semi-final. And Bangladesh are through to the semi-final as a group champion where Afghanistan managed to follow Bangladesh as second.
Bangladesh was invited to bat first after losing the toss. The openers started quite cautiously against Pakistani seamers. Ankon struggled really hard to score run and got out on 5 facing 30 balls. The skipper Saif Hassan also left the crease when Bangladesh score was only 72 runs in 20 overs. Bangladesh fell in immense pressure when they lost their 4th wicket by 100 runs with a trifle run rate under 4. But since then Afif and Rakib pulled the team up with a vital partnership of 77 runs. Afif got out on 80 while trying increasing the run rate. Later Rakib and Aminul scored some biggies and ultimately Bangladesh U-19 put a respectable total of 230 runs on the board.
Pakistani opener Zaid Alam started Pakistan U-19 innings with a blast scoring 50 runs in just 32 balls. All other top-order batsmen also dominated Bangladeshi bowlers and scored some quick runs. But Bangladeshi bowlers came back really hard and took wickets in quick succession. Pakistan innings at one moment collapsed drastically from 201/4 to 216/9. But the last two batsmen held their nerves and played sensibly to reach Pakistan team home. Pakistan U-19 eventually managed to win at the final over with 5 balls to spare.
Bangladesh U-19, however, became group champion despite of today’s loss. Young tigers will face Sri Lanka U-19 on second semi-final at December 21. The match will held at Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.