Pakistan Win Maiden Title

Pakistan beat Bangladesh by 77 runs to claim their maiden title of the ACC Emerging Teams Asia Cup at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur on Saturday.

Having lost the final twice, Pakistan made it third-time lucky, inflicting a heavy defeat on the hosts who were playing in their first final.

Wicket-keeper batsman Rohail Nazir was the star of the show as his century propelled Pakistan to a mammoth 301 for six after the hosts had opted to bowl first.

Nazir came in at 18 for one after the fall of Omair Yousuf and soon lost the other opener, Haider Ali, for 26 as Pakistan found themselves 41 for two in the eighth over. The right-hander then took charge, with Imran Rafiq in support, as they put on 117 runs for the third wicket.

Rafiq departed for an 88-ball 62 when skipper Saud Shakeel joined Nazir as Pakistan shifted from consolidation to assault mode, with Nazir bringing up his hundred off 105 balls. The wicket-keeper departed for a 111-ball 113 but Shakeel’s 42 and cameos from Khushdil Shah (27) and Amad Butt (15) helped Pakistan plunder 301 runs, 97 of which came in the last 10 overs.

Sumon Khan, with three wickets, was the most successful Bangladeshi bowler but he was also the second-most expensive, conceding 75 runs.

Bangladesh’s reply started poorly as they lost both openers cheaply, Soumya Sarkar for 15 and Nayeem Sheikh for 16. Skipper Najmul Hossain Shanto tried to resurrect the innings along with Yasir Ali, but Shanto’s departure for 46, with the team four down for 119, jeopardised the hosts’ chances.

Even Afif Hossain’s 49 and Mahedi Hasan’s 42 gave Bangladesh momentary hope, but there was no big innings from either of the Bangladesh batsmen as they eventually folded for 224 in 43.3 overs.

Mohammad Hasnain was the most successful Pakistan bowler with three wickets while Khushdil and Saif Badar took two wickets each.

Nazir was adjudged player-of-the-match while Soumya was named player-of-the-tournament.

Sat 23-Nov

FINAL: Pakistan v Bangladesh at SBNCS, Mirpur
Bangladesh won the toss and elected to field
Pakistan: 301 for 6 off 50 overs (R.Nazir 113, I.Rafique 62, S.Shakeel 42; S.Khan 3-75)
Bangladesh: 224 all out off 43.3 overs (N.Shanto 46, A.Dhrubo 49, M.Hasan 42; M.Hasnain 3-32)
Man of the Final: Rohail Nazir (Pakistan)

Player of the Tournament: Soumya Sarkar (Bangladesh)

Preview: Platform To Emerge As Next Stars

Emerging Teams Asia Cup begins in Bangladesh on Thursday

The platform to showcase talent for aspiring cricketers is all ready as the Asian Cricket Council Emerging Teams Asia Cup 2019 begins on November 14 across four venues in Bangladesh.

Bangladesh will be hosting the flagship event for the second time, first since 2017, as the fourth edition of the tournament will feature five Test playing nations alongside three associate members of the ICC. The three associate members – Oman, Hong Kong and Nepal – came through a qualifying event to join the five Test-playing nations – India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. UAE pulled out of the tournament at the last moment and were replaced by Nepal who had finished fourth in the qualifying tournament.

Captains of the participating teams

Defending champions Sri Lanka will take on Oman in the first group A game at the Sheikh Kamal International Cricket Stadium Academy Ground in Cox’s Bazar while Pakistan will lock horns against Afghanistan at the main ground of the coastal city, the Sheikh Kamal International Cricket Stadium.

In Group B, hosts Bangladesh will face Hong Kong at BKSP-4 Ground while India will play against Nepal at BKSP-3 Ground, both in Savar. All the 50-over matches will begin at 9:00am local time.

Singapore hosted the inaugural edition of the Emerging teams Asia Cup in 2013 where India clinched the title, beating Pakistan by nine wickets in the final. After a break, the tournament resumed again in 2017as Bangladesh hosted the event for the first time. This time Sri Lanka lifted the trophy, condemning Pakistan to their second runners-up finish five-wicket victory.

The third edition of the tournament was hosted jointly by Pakistan and Sri Lanka, with Sri Lanka winning the title following an intense three-run win over India.

Hosts for the second time, Bangladesh will be eyeing to lift their maiden title this time around after the selectors announced a strong side, led by left-handed batsman Najmul Hossain Shanto.

Opener Naim Sheikh, Soumya Sarkar, all-rounder Afif Hossain, leg-spinner Aminul Islam and pacer Abu Hider are also in the Bangladesh team, having just returned from the three-match T20I series in India.

The top two teams from each group will battle it out in the semifinals, which will be held on November 20 and 21 at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur. The home of Bangladesh cricket will then host the final on November 23.