Cricketers start brightly
Bangladesh had another day of mixed results in the 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou yesterday as the men's cricket team reached semifinmals beating Malaysia comfortably while women's kabaddi team were on the verge of a semifinals spot which would ensure a medal of any colour.
Besides, FIDE Master Minhazuddin Ahmed Sagar brightened his chances of becoming an International Master after earning the second norm as the men's team edged Mongolia. But the women haplessly lost against India.
Hockey team lost against China in a place-deciding match while two female archers were beaten comprehensively in their respective bouts.
Captain Mohammad Ashraful led Bangladesh to the cricket semifinals with a comprehensive 70-run victory over Malaysia at the Guangdong Cricket Stadium.
Bangladesh chose to bat and put up 150 for seven in their allotted 20 overs, with wicketkeeper-batsman Mithun Ali scoring highest 39 while the skipper himself contributed with 29 before falling to a run out.
Ashraful, the former Test skipper, then claimed three wickets for five runs while all-rounder Sohrawardi Shuvo took three for 15 as Malaysia got bowled out for 80 in 19.4 overs.
The victory set up a mouth-watering semifinal clash between the boys of Ashraful and Pakistan on Thursday.
Bangladesh women's kabaddi team almost ensured a semifinals place beating South Korea by 28-19 points in a group match at the Nansha Gymnasium yesterday. Bangladesh led the first half 16-10.
They are now in the second position in the group with four points from 3 matches. Favourites India lead the group with same number of points having played one match less. If India manage to beat South Korea in the last group match, Bangladesh will be automatically through to the last four which will ensure a medal according to the new tournament rules.
Men's kabaddi team won too, defeated Malaysia 48-38. After leading the first-half by 26-17 points, Bangladesh faced some resistance as the opponents scored 21 points against Bangladesh's 22, but ultimately it was a comfortable win for Bangladesh.
Bangladesh are in the third position from Group B with 2 points in two matches. To ensure a semifinals spot, Bangladesh will need to beat Pakistan in the last group match who lead the group with 4 points.
The men's hockey team lost their 5-8th position classification match against China 4-1 at the Aoti Hockey Field. Midfielder Kamruzzaman Rana scored the consolation goal for Bangladesh in the 41st minute. Bangladesh were sent on the backfoot very early when they conceded a penalty stroke which was converted by Yang Dong in the 8th minute. They conceded two more in the 25th and 26th minutes as China took full control of the match. Rana's 41st minute goal only reduced the margin which was however restored nine minutes later by Liu Yixian who bagged a brace in the match.
Bangladesh, who stated the campaign with a target of finishing sixth, will now play against Oman on Thursday to see if they can finish seventh in the rankings.
Men's chess team had a 2.5-1.5 point victory over Mongolia in the sixth round while women were outplayed by India by 0.5-3.5 points
at the Guangzhou Chess Institute.
Niaz Murshed, Ziaur Rahman and Sagar drew their respective boards while Mehedi Hasan Parag got walkover against his opponent. Sagar earned his first IM norm earlier in the year. This win lifts them to joint sixth position on the table with six points from six rounds.
The women though surrendered meekly to their strong Indian counterparts. Only Shamima Akter Liza, the highest rated female chess player of the country, managed to draw her board, while the other three lost their boards. This defeat pulls Bangladesh down to sixth on the table with six points from same number of rounds.
Bangladesh's two participants in women's individual archery were eliminated
from the pre-quarterfinals stage. Mathui Prue Marma
lost in straight 0-2, 0-2 sets
to Kazakhstan's Farida Takubayeva at the Aoti Archery Range while Beauty Roy also conceded defeat by the same margin to Taipei's Ting Tan Ya.
SCORES IN BRIEF
BANGLADESH: 150-7 (Mithun 39, Ashraful 29; Yusof 4-21)
MALAYSIA: 80 all out in 19.4 overs (Shafiq 21; Ashraful 3-5, Shuvo 3-15)
Result: Bangladesh won by 70 runs.