Melbourne – Bangladesh U19 defeated Nepal U19 by six wickets to enter the semi-final stage of ICC U19 Cricket World Cup for the first time in Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur on Friday (February 5).
Bangladesh beat Nepal by six wickets in Mirpur
Nepal 211-9, 50 overs (Raju Rijal 72, Dipendra Airee 22, Prem Tamang 22 not out; Mohammad Saifuddin 2-38)
Bangladesh 215-4, 48.2 overs (Zakir Hasan 75 not out, Mehidy Hasan 55 not out; Sunil Dhamala 2-33)
It was a bright and sunny day in Mirpur and Nepal opted to bat first in the surface that had a good covering of grass but looked a batsmen paradise. But, Opener Sunil Dhamala and Sandeep Sunar had a slow start. Sunar was first to depart, bowled by Mohammad Saifuddin for 7(12). Yogendra Singh Karki (1) came at the crease and departed after two balls. He got the ripper from Mehedi Hasan Rana, a roaring bouncer. Nepal again lost the plot of the match inside 10 overs. Dhamala and Skipper Raju Rijal shared 44 runs partnership for the third wicket before Dhamala was run out. He scored 25 off 62 balls with two boundaries.
Another promising partnership of 51 runs between Aarif Sheikh and Skipper Rijal failed in the wrong time after Aarif Sheikh (21) was holed out to the man at deep midwicket. Two balls earlier, Rijal completed his half century. He was playing freely after getting to that milestone. He quickly moved to 72 off 80 balls with 8 boundaries and six but disaster started for Nepal. Another misunderstanding while running cost another crucial wicket in the middle of the inning. His 72 run inning was the second-highest score by a captain in this tournament.
Nepal’s inning started to slow down as wickets started to tumble, they slipped to 178/7 in 43 overs but useful contributions in the end from Dipendra Singh Airee (22), Kushal Bhurtel (14) and Prem Tamang’s unbeaten 22 took Nepal to a respectable 211/9 in their 50 overs.
Right-arm seamer Mohammad Saifuddin was the pick of the bowlers for Bangladesh, taking two wickets while Mehedi Hasan Rana, Mehedi Hasan Miraz and Saleh Ahmed Shawon shared wicket apiece. Nepalese will vulnerable while running between the wickets and lost their four wickets.
Bangladesh had to toil hard to score runs in the first ten over of inning. Nepalese gave away 21 runs and trapped opener Saif Hassan (5). Pinak Ghosh (32) was run out, Nazmul Hossain Shanto (8) was caught & bowled by Sandeep Lamichanne and another set batsman Joyraz Sheik was trapped by Sunil Dhamala for 38 (67) to reduced to 98/4 in the 29th over.
Mehedi Hasan Miraz and Zakir Hasan then steadied Bangladesh’s innings and added a match-winning partnership of 117 for fifth wicket to clinch the quarter-final in 48.2 overs. 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.
Sunil Dhamala was pick of the bowlers for Nepal grabbing two wickets in his ten overs. Sandip Lamichanne had to satisfy with one wicket.
After the match, Nepal’s Skipper Raju Rijal rued his side’s inability to put up a bigger total. “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.”, he said.
“But I am proud of the way the team has played in the tournament. Our aim is to finish with a good placing.”, he further added.
“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.
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.