No more agony, no more heartbreak against India. The Young Tigers wrote history for Bangladesh cricket at the Senwes Park in Potchefstroom yesterday, ending their wait for a major global trophy. The entire nation was glued to the television sets from the beginning of the much-anticipated final of the ICC Under-19 World Cup to celebrate an occasion and, after all the turns and twists, Akbar Ali’s brigade provided the most momentous victory for the cricket-crazy nation.
A mild drizzle stopped the match when Bangladesh were on 163 for seven in reply to 177 but the rain was not a worry. When the match resumed, the Young Tigers required seven runs from 30 balls. After all the drama during Bangladesh’s chase, captain Akbar Ali’s steely resolve brought his side to the memorable victory and the team as well as the entire nation erupted in joy.
Rakibul Hasan hit the winning runs but it was Akbar’s precious unbeaten 43 that crowned Bangladesh with its first World Cup title and thus the Young Tigers ended the merry run in the global event, lifting the coveted trophy.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling,” was the instant reaction from Rakibul Hasan, who probably echoed the sentiment of entire nation.
Bangladesh completed a nearly perfect bowling and fielding performance by getting their mighty Indian counterparts all out for 177 in the exciting final.
The pace pair of Shoriful Islam and Tanzim Hasan Sakib started the ICC Under-19 World Cup final in Potchefstroom with fire, brimstone and iron-clad discipline that gave the team early momentum. Pacer Avishek Das reaped the rewards of their early fire then the spinners held their nerve when the Indian batsmen weathered the early storm. The fielding was absolutely electric.
Yashasvi Jaiswal continued his good form with an 88-run innings but it was not good enough to set a challenging total.
In reply, Parvez Hossain and Tanzid Hasan made a flying start, sharing 50 runs for the opening wicket but leg-spinner Ravi Bishoni rattled the Bangladesh batting by taking four wickets in quick succession to bring anxiety among the fans; bringing back the memory of the heartbreaking loss in the Asia Cup final in Sri Lanka last year.
But Akbar was not ready to fold. Instead, their togetherness, their hard work and all the trials and tribulations of the past two years was given a sweet ending, one made infinitely sweeter with the World Cup in hand.