A stunning effort by skipper Akbar Ali spared Bangladesh’s blushes in their group game against Nepal in the Under-19 Asia Cup at P. Sara Oval on Sunday.

The six wicket win enabled Bangladesh to earn a spot in the semi-finals of the eight nation tournament. The last group game between them and hosts Sri Lanka will decide the group champions.

Bangladesh v Nepal
Winners - Bangladesh

Chasing a target of 262 in 50 overs, Bangladesh were badly placed at 19 for two in the fifth over of the innings.  Mahmudul Joy (40) and Towhid Hridoy (60) staged a recovery for Bangladesh but Nepal kept picking up wickets and at 132 for four in the 33rd over, it was still Nepal’s game.

Requiring 130 runs to win off 106 deliveries, Bangladesh were left with a tall order as they were faced with a mounting run rate and couldn’t afford to lose any wickets.

Skipper Akbar Ali (98 not out) and Shammim Hossain (42 not out) came up with a match winning partnership to secure a hard fought win for their side.

Akbar, who also keeps wickets for his side batted with authority taking the attack onto the Nepal bowlers. He fully deserved a hundred; nevertheless his effort was good enough to earn Bangladesh a semi-final berth.

The 17-year-old middle order batsman faced just 82 deliveries for his 98 and hit 14 boundaries.

Shamim’s 42 came off 45 deliveries and contained just four boundaries. The impressive run chase will give Bangladesh a boost in confidence before they get into the business end of the tournament.

Despite the defeat, Nepal will take heart given the fight they showcased. Their batting effort in particular was top class with two quality half-centuries being scored during the innings that enabled them to post a competitive 261 for eight.

Openers Rit Gautam and Pawan Sharraf added 45 runs for the opening wicket with Sharraf playing the anchor role top scoring with 81 runs.

Sundeep Jhora batting at number six provided much needed impetus to their innings blasting 56 off 37 balls with three fours and three sixes.

Other middle order batters like Kushal Malla (28) and Bhim Sharki (21) came up with useful contributions giving their bowlers something to defend.

Captain Rohit Paudel has been a disappointment though. Much was expected of him as he has got international exposure having represented Nepal’s senior side but he has not been able to post a big score so far in the competition. He did make 47 against Sri Lanka in Nepal’s opening game, but given his reputation, much more is expected of him.

Sun 8-Sep

Bangladesh v Nepal at P Sara
Bangladesh won the toss and elected to field
Nepal: 261 for 8 off 50 overs (R.Gautam 32, P.Sarraf 81, S.Jora 56)
Bangladesh: 262 for 4 off 49.2 overs (MH.Joy 40, MT.Hidroy 60, MA.Ali 98*, MS.Hossain 42*)
Man of the Match: Md Akbar Ali (Bangladesh)


Tournament page

Filed September 8th, 2019