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Promising beginning, disappointing finish

  • Published at 05:51 pm February 21st, 2018
  • Last updated at 05:54 pm February 21st, 2018
Promising beginning, disappointing finish
Bangladesh finished sixth in the recently concluded U-19 Cricket World Cup where their Indian counterpart lifted the title for a record fourth time. The result paled in comparison to the previous edition of the competition, at home, where the junior Tigers ended third. Consistency was the key set-back for the side. The opening bowlers were reliable, but wickets were hard to come by. Likewise, at the crease there were no consistent run-scorers, bar the brilliant all-rounder Afif Hossain. Slated alongside Namibia, Canada and one-time champion England, the youngsters in red and green had an easy journey to the second phase of the ICC flagship event. With two convincing wins and a seven-wicket defeat against England, Bangladesh, led by top-order batsman Saif Hasan, faced India in the quarter-final where the eventual champion prevailed by 131 runs. The young Bangladesh cricketers faced England again, this time in the fifth place play-off where the former emerged victorious, winning by five wickets. In the following game, the side ended their journey in New Zealand, losing to South Africa by eight wickets to finish sixth. The results should not be a worry to many, given that a few cricketers from this batch are expected to graduate to the senior side eventually. Bangladesh have seen many U-19 cricketers graduate to the next level with flying colour, with the most successful, talked about batch being that of 2006 which produced stars like Shakib al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahim, among others. The scenario of the current U-19 side is different however. Majority of the players are already known to the country and some parts of the world, courtesy wide coverage of the media, and also platforms like the Bangladesh Premier League T20. The U-19 stars Afif Hossain Afif, the left-handed batsman and right-arm off-spinner, is undoubtedly the most known figure in the batch. From a brilliant debut in the BPL T20 2016 for Rajshahi Kings, Afif had marked his appearance in a senior competition with a five-wicket haul, taking down Chris Gayle and Tamim in the process. The 19-year old had turned into a sensation overnight and hinted of joining the senior zone soon. Afif in the 2018 U-19 World Cup was termed the “Rising Star” of the nation by the ICC. Such admiration was earned through four fifties, including a vital 71 against England. His spin bowling managed to tear through the opposition, a case in point being his five-wicket haul against Canada, while his 3/15 against England restricted the opposition to a below-par score. Saif Hasan The right-handed batsman has already earned quite a name in the domestic circuit through his performances as a top-order batter, and in the age-level sides with his leadership skill. Now is the time for Saif to go that extra mile in order to make it to the senior level. "We had higher expectation this time around and everyone was expecting a bigger result from us. This is because we had finished third in the last edition of the U-19 World Cup. We finished as sixth, which I think, is not too bad as a result. Keeping the condition in mind, I do not think we have got a bad result. The team tried best to cope with the condition among which Afif topped everyone with his performance. Hasan [Mahmud] was good with the ball. So there has been praiseworthy, individual consistent performances," said Saif to Dhaka Tribune. "Where we lacked was our spinners and batsmen could have performed better as a group. It could have been easy for us if our top order had contributed for the team." Nayeem Hasan The whole Bangladesh U-19 team touring New Zealand for the world event was left awestruck after this 17-year old right-arm spinner boarded an immediate flight back home to join the Tigers’ Test side for the home series against Sri Lanka in late January. He was however, not lucky enough to make it into the playing XI. Hailing from Chittagong, Nayeem has played only four first-class matches, nine List A games and two T20s.   Did you know? Sarfraz Ahmed, who captained Pakistan to victory in the 2006 U-19 World Cup, also led the country to their Champions Trophy triumph in 2017.   Group stage, January 13, Saturday Namibia 103/6 (Van Wyk 55, Hasan 2/12) lost to Bangladesh 190/4 (Saif 84, Naim 60) by 87 runs MoM: Saif Hasan (Bangladesh)   Group stage, January 15, Monday Canada 198 in 49.3 overs (Arslan 63, Afif 5/43) lost to Bangladesh 264/8 (Hridoy 122, Afif 50) by 66 runs MoM: Afif Hossain (Bangladesh)   Group stage, January 18, Tuesday England 177/3 in 29.3 overs (Brook 102*, Woods 48*) beat Bangladesh 175 in 49.2 overs (Afif 63, Aminul 31) by seven wickets MoM: Harry Brook (England)   Quarter-final, January 26, Friday Bangladesh 134 in 42.1 overs (Pinak 43, Nagarkoti 3/18) lost to India 265 in 49.2 overs (Gill 86, Onik 3/48) by 131 runs MoM: Shubnam Gill (India)   5th Place Playoff, January 28, Sunday Bangladesh 220/5 in 47.3 overs (Afif 71, Saif 59) beat England 216 in 47.2 overs (Banks 74, Brook 66) by five wickets MoM: Afif Hossain (Bangladesh)   5th Place Decider, January 31, Wednesday South Africa 180/2 in 38.3 overs (Tonder 82*, Rolfes 44*) beat Bangladesh 178 in 41.4 overs (Afif 63, Shakil 61) by eight wickets MoM: Fraser Jones (South Africa)   Champion: India Runners up: Australia Player of the final: Manjot Kalra (India) Player of the series: Shubnam Gill (India) Highest run-scorer: Alick Athanaze (West Indiea, 418 runs) Highest wicket-taker: Anukul Roy (India, 14 wickets) BANGLADESH PLAYERS’ RATING   Saif Hasan (Captain, top-order batsman) Innings - 6, Runs - 174, Average - 29 Marks – 6 out of 10   Afif Hossain (All-rounder) Innings - 6, Runs - 276, Average - 46, Wickets - 8, ER - 5.66 Marks – 9 out of 10 Aminul Islam Biplob (Batsman) Innings - 5, Runs - 80, Average - 16 Marks – 5 out of 10   Hasan Mahmud (Pacer) Innings - 6, Wickets - 9, ER - 4.00 Marks – 8 out of 10   Mahidul Islam (Wicketkeeper-batsman) Innings - 3, Runs - 35, Average - 11.67, Stumpings - 1, Catches - 8 Marks – 7 out of 10   Mohammad Naim (Opening batsman) Innings - 5, Runs - 122, Average - 24.4 Marks – 5.5 out of 10   Mohammad Rakib (All-rounder) Innings - 2, Runs - 30, Average - 15, Wickets - 1, ER - 6.11 Marks – 5.5 out of 10   Nayeem Hasan (Off-spinner) Innings - 3, Wickets - 3, ER - 4.55 Marks – 6.5 out of 10   Pinak Ghosh (Opening batsman) Innings - 5, Runs - 80, Average - 16 Marks – 4.5 out of 10   Qazi Onik (Pacer) Innings - 6, Wickets - 10, ER - 4.58 Marks – 8.5 out of 10   Robiul Hoque (Pacer) Innings - 4, Wickets - 3, ER - 6 Marks – 5 out of 10   Roni Hossain (Pacer) Innings - 1, Wicket - 1, ER - 3 Marks - 6 out of 10   Tipu Sultan (Left-arm spinner) Innings - 4, Wicket - 0, ER - 4.8 Marks - 5 out of 10 Towhid Hridoy (Top-order batsman) Innings - 6, Runs - 154, Average - 30.8 Marks – 7.5 out of 10   Shakil Hossain (Pacer) – DNP Marks – Not available