Bangladesh vs. Sri Lanka
Eight Under-19 teams, made up the Asian Test-playing nations and leading Associates Afghanistan, Malaysia, Nepal, and Singapore are in Sri Lanka for the ACC Youth Asia Cup. The first major international tournament for the region's top young cricketers, the tournament in recent years has showcased many who have gone on to full international honours. "The event has always been positioned to give the Asian teams the best possible preparation for the ICC U19 World Cup," says ACC Events and Development Manager Mr. Sultan Rana.
In 2012 the final was tied and the trophy was shared by India and Pakistan, with players such as Sami Aslam, Babar Azam, Mohammad Nawaz, Unmukt Chand, Sanju Samson and Vijay Zol featuring. In 2014 India emerged champions, with many players who subsequently have starred in the IPL.
In a stunning result, Afghanistan beat Pakistan in the group stage by 21 runs, and even though Pakistan then went on to beat Bangladesh by one wicket later, Pakistan were knocked out of the semi-final stage on net run rate. Nepal also lost by just one run to home team Sri Lanka at NCC.
"We have had a very competitive tournament so far," says Mr. Rana, "at this stage, even though India and Sri Lanka look most strong, given the amount of talent that the other semi-finalists Afghanistan and Bangladesh have, the tournament is anybody's for the taking."
India go into the semi-finals unbeaten in Group A with Sri Lanka following,while Bangladesh topped group B with Afghanistan 2nd . The semi-finals are India v Afghanistan and Bangladesh v Sri Lanka.
Second Semi-Final Preview
The U-19s have furnished many players for the Test and ODI teams over the years, Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mehedi Miraj most notably. This year's batches are led by outstanding batsmen Saif Hassen and Afif Hossain, with the bowlers headed by left-arm pacer Qazi Onik Islam.
The home teams haven’t quite been at their best so far, though batsmen H. Boyangoda and V Chathuranga have shown. While the ambidextrous spinner Kamindu Mendis has led the attack and is a potential match-winner.
Filed December 21st, 2016