Bangladesh under-19 team got off to a winning start in the inaugural match of the ICC Under-19 World Cup when they beat defending champions South Africa Under-19 team by 43 runs in the group A match held on Wednesday at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium.Thanks to Mohammad Saifuddin and Mehedi Hasan Miraj for their brilliant bowling spells that helped Bangladesh to dismiss South Africa at 197, after middle order batsman Nazmul Hossain Shanto paved the way making a responsible half century to set a winning target of 241 in front of South Africa.
The juniors Tigers’ bowlers threatened early inroad on South African innings picking up their top four batsmen at only 60 runs though opener Liam Smith offered some resistance scoring a magnificent hundred.The right handed batsman Smith, kept this wicket in tack in the other end scoring an impressive 100 runs off 146-ball with the help of nine boundaries and one over boundary before giving an easy catch to Miraj off Saleh Ahmed Shawon delivery.The South African batsmen could not recover from the early damage of the team losing wickets in regular intervals as they failed to build any effective partnership to fight back in the match. Dayyaan Galiem (22), Farhaan Sayanvala (17) and Sean Whitehead (13) were the other notable batsmen for the Protease who able to reach the double figure. Saifuddin and Miraj were the pick of Bangladesh bowlers taking three wickets for 30 and 37 runs respectively. They were well supported by Saleh Ahmed Shawon and Saeed Sarkar, who both picked up two wickets apiece giving away 37 and 39 runs respectively.Earlier, Bangladesh, rode on Nazmul Hossain Shanto’s brilliant 73-run knock, scored a decent total of 240 for 7 from their allotted 20 overs, after they opted to bat first.The second down batsman Shanto was fluent with bat as he cracked three towering over boundaries and four boundaries during his 82-run stay on the crease. Fist down Joyraz Sheik (46), opener Pinak Ghosh (43), skipper Miraz (23) and Zakir Hossain (19) also added an useful contribution behind the victory of the junior Tigers.Medium pacer Wiaan Mulder was the most successful bowler for South Africa picking up three wickets for 42 runs.Nazmul Hossain Shanto of Bangladesh was named the player of match for his brilliant batting performance.In his immediate reaction after the match Shanto said “It was tough conditions, the wicket was a little slow, so I just rotated strike.””I worked the ball, and if the ball was in my hitting zone I tried and hit my shots,” he added.Bangladesh will play their second group match against Scotland scheduled to be held on Sunday (January 31) at the Sheikh Kamal International Stadium in Cox’s Bazar. (BSS)