ICC Under 19 World Cup Semi Final Bangladesh Vs New Zealand Played at Potchefstroom on 6 February 2020
Bangladesh 215/4 ( Mahmudul Hasan Joy 100, Shahadat Hossain 40*, Towhid Hridoy 40, KDC Clarke 1/37, A Ashok 1/44 ) beat New Zealand 211/8 ( Beckham Wheelar Greenal 75* , N Lidstone 44 , Shoriful Islam 3/45, Shamim Hossain 2/31, Hasan Murad 2/34 and Rokibul Hasan 1/35) by 6 wickets
Player of The Match: Mahmudul Hasan Joy
All round Under 19 cricket team oozing confidence and maturity made Bangladesh proud to world community. Akbar’s men displaying wonderful brand of attractive cricket rewrote the history reaching the first ever final of a global cricket tournament. They outplayed and outgunned teen black caps winning the semi final yesterday at Potchefstroom, South Africa by 6 wickets with 35 balls to spare. Lady luck smiled on brave boys as Akbar won the toss and under a gloomy sky, on moisture retained wicket and heavy outfield elected to field.
All the Bangladeshi bowlers bowled tight and on the right channel. Young New Zealanders struggled all the way scoring 211/8. Even that score many thought was 20-30 runs too many given the control Akbar’s men had on the match. Bangladesh batted superbly reaching 215/4 with 5.5 overs still to play. Teen tigers earned a date with their traditional South Asian rival neighbor India for the final on Sunday on the same venue. Never before any Bangladesh team even reached semifinal of a global cricket tournament. Tiger cubs made Bangladeshis all over the world proud. They bowled brilliantly, fielded with passion and batted superbly in the historic win. All the players deserve the credit. But few like Shoriful Islam (3/45), Shamim Hossain 2/31 and Hasan Murad (2/34) for their penetrative and accurate bowling and Mahmudul Hasan Joy (100), Shahadat Hossain ( 40*) and Tawhid Hridoy (40) for splendid batting deserve special accolades. Such was the dominance of Bangladesh on the match that they never looked like panicking. It was an all round master class matured performance of a well resolved unit.
Rain and thunderstorm were in the forecast. Heavy downpour made the outfield a bit heavy. Fortunately rain and storm stayed away. In fact sun came shining as Bangladesh approached the winning target. Winning the toss Bangladesh captain without any hesitation opted to field. Shoriful Islam taking advantage of the moisture of the wicket bowled with pace and moved prodigiously either way teasing and tormenting the teen black caps. The army of Bangladesh spinners Shamim , Rokibul , Hasan Murad also bowled tight . Surviving and run scoring was challenging for the black caps. Akbar started with pace and spin and smartly kept his bowlers rotating. Mariu was consumed by Shamim in the very second over. Shoriful was bowling exceptionally well making batsmen play and miss. Quality left arm spinner Rokibul and Shamim strangled the batsmen bowling at tight length and turning. Scoring runs became extremely difficult.
The score reached 75/4 by the 26 th over. The catch that Joy took at cover of Lellman of the bowling of Shariful was to be seen to believe. Nicholas Lidstone and Beckham Wheeler Greenal tried a rescue mission adding 67 runs for the 5 th wicket partnership. But once Lidstone (44) fell to Shoriful Bangladesh bowlers again took control until in the last 10 overs hard hitting Greenall (78*) playing some quality strokes took the score beyond 200 to 211/8. Given the state of the match few thought it was 20-30 too many. Shoriful was the peak of the bowlers. But all others Hasan Murad, Shamim Hossain, Rakibu Hasan, Towhid Hridoy did their job. The boys fielded smartly.
Bangladesh response was not what they expected. They were rocked back with two early wickets as openers Tamzid Hasan Tamim (3) and Pervez Hossain Emon (14) were sent back to the pavilion. In came Mahmud Hasn Joy and Tawhid Hridoy. They played with patience, passion and diligence. The 68 runs 3 rd wicket partnership laid the foundation of Bangladesh. Hridoy left after scoring impressive 40 trying to attack leggie Ashok and getting stumped. But Joy to the joy of all Bangladeshis wherever in the world batted like a true champion. Shahadat was his able partner. The 101 run fourth wicket partnership won the match for Bangladesh. Joy scored a wonderfully paced 100 in 127 balls striking 13 boundaries. Shahadat played smartly rotating the strikes and letting Joy play his magic. Shahadat himself remained unbeaten on 40 when a blow by captain Akbar won the match. Bangladesh walked into history. A win by 6 wickets with 5.5 overs left made it a cakewalk for Bangladesh.
This Bangladesh team was promising to achieve great for a while. They were performing wonderfully well in bilateral series leading to the world cup. The way they have disposed off home team South Africa and New Zealand deserves very special attention to the young tigers.
Akbar led under 19 became the first team of the country qualifying for playing in the final of a world cup. Akbar and his troops did what Mashrafee, Shakib, Mushfique and others could not achieve before. Hats off to these twinkling teenagers. They have already demonstrated that they have matured heads over young shoulders. Sky is their limit. Their wonderful feat entertained Bangladeshis all over the world. This morning at 2;50 AM at Melbourne time when I was viewing Akbar smashing the winning run viewers from all over the pace Calgary, Rotterdam, Abu Dhabi, Singapoore were found active on social media. What a wonderful binding force cricket has become for Bangladeshis?
Bangladesh will now have to play against strong India waiting for them in the final. In not too distant past the teams locked horns at Asia cup with Bangladesh choking at the last moment. . Will history smile again on the brave tiger cabs? Who knows? Nothing appears impossible for this amazing boys beaming with confidence and determination.
BDST: 0830 HRS, FEB 07, 2020