Mehidy Hasan and Zakir Hasan carry Bangladesh to first-ever semi-final in U-19 World Cup
Hosts Bangladesh defeated a valiant Nepal by six wickets after a tense run-chase to storm into the semi-finals of the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2016 on Friday, giving the nation its maiden appearance in the last four of a world event.
Skipper Mehidy Hasan and Zakir Hasan hit unbeaten half-centuries as Bangladesh recovered from early setbacks to surpass Nepal’s 211 for nine with 10 balls to spare in Mirpur. The match was produced by ICC TV and aired around the world by 15 broadcasters.
Bangladesh faces the winner of Monday’s quarter-final between Pakistan and the West Indies in the second semi-final at Mirpur on 11 February. The first semi-final on 9 February in Mirpur will feature the winners of quarter-final matches between India-Namibia and England-Sri Lanka.
Hasan-Zakir combine to give Bangladesh the victory
Nepal’s captain Raju Rijal hit 72 (80b, 8x4, 1x6) after winning the toss and electing to bat, but four run-outs in the innings, including that of the captain himself, set his team back. Nepal slipped to 178 for seven in 43 overs but useful contributions in the end from Dipendra Airee and Prem Tamang, who made 22 apiece, lifted it past the 200-run mark
Right-arm seamer Mohammad Saifuddin was the pick of the bowlers for Bangladesh, giving away just four runs in the final over to return with figures of two for 38. Bangladesh, mentored by former Australia international Stuart Law, was made to fight hard for runs as Nepal’s bowlers conceded just 21 runs in the first 10 overs.
The home team was reduced to 98 for four in the 29th over when Mehidy joined Zakir to add a match-winning partnership of 117 for the unbroken fifth wicket. Left-handed Zakir, who scored an unbeaten 75 from 103 balls, ended the match by lofting Airee for a six over long-on. He also hit five fours. Mehidy returned undefeated on 55 from 65 balls which also included three fours.
“It is so exciting to be part of the first Bangladesh team to enter the semi-final of a World Cup,” a jubilant Mehidy said, adding: "I think Nepal played a very good game. They did their best with both bat and ball. They are a very good side that we have beaten today.
“Zakir played so well and kept supporting me. He told me that we should try to take singles and twos because the boundaries were not easy to get. That worked well for us. We look forward to the semi-final. Hopefully, we will raise our game and do our best to enter the final.”
Nepal’s Rijal rued his side’s inability to put up a bigger total. He said, “The four run-outs and the loss of five wickets in the middle overs cost us at least 25-30 runs. If we had got those runs we would have fought till the end.
“But I am proud of the way the team has played in the tournament. Our aim is to finish with a good placing.”
Afghanistan beat Fiji; Zimbabwe beat Canada
In the Plate Championship quarter-finals, Afghanistan trumped Fiji by 226 runs after opener Karim Janat smashed 156 off 132 balls with 12 boundaries and six sixes. Afghanistan piled up 340 for nine after being sent into bat and Fiji was shot out for 114 in reply. Nijat Masood claimed three wickets for six runs in six overs and Rashid Khan took three for 16.
A fine all-round performance by Jeremy Ives helped Zimbabwe defeat Canada by six wickets in another Plate quarter-final in Cox’s Bazar.
Ives claimed three for 30 as Canada were restricted to 186 for eight after electing to bat. Amish Taploo top-scored with 37. Ives then returned unbeaten on 43 after Zimbabwe cruised home in the 32nd over, with Shaun Snyder making 56.
Scores in brief:
Super League quarter-final: Bangladesh beat Nepal by six wickets in Mirpur
Bangladesh 215-4, 48.2 overs (Zakir Hasan 75 not out, Mehidy Hasan 55 not out; Sunil Dhamala 2-33) beat Nepal 211-9, 50 overs (Raju Rijal 72, Dipendra Airee 22, Prem Tamang 22 not out; Mohammad Saifuddin 2-38) by 6 wickets.
Plate quarter-final: Afghanistan beat Fiji by 226 runs in Cox’s Bazar
Afghanistan 340-9, 50 overs (Karim Janat 156, Perwez Malakzai 74, Peni Vuniwaqa 3-41) beat Fiji 114 all out, 31.2 overs (Nijat Masood 3-6, Rashid Khan 3-16, Zahir Khan 2-45) by 226 runs.
Plate quarter-final: Zimbabwe beat Canada by six wickets in Cox’s Bazar
Zimbabwe 190-4, 31.4 overs (Shaun Snyder 56, Jeremy Ives 43 not out; Bhavindu Adhihetty 2-23, Shlok Patel 2-62) beat Canada 186-8, 50 overs (Amish Taploo 37, Abraash Khan 32, Arslan Khan 31, Jeremy Ives 3-30) by 6 wickets.