A fine all-round performance from Soumya Sarkar cancelled out Darwish Rasool’s brilliant hundred as Bangladesh romped into the final of the Emerging Teams Asia Cup with an emphatic seven-wicket victory over Afghanistan in the second semifinal at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.
The spirited Bangladesh, who took only 39.5 overs to overtake Afghan’s 228 runs with seven wickets in hand, will face Pakistan in tomorrow’s final at the same venue.
Soumya hit 61 runs off 59 balls, featuring three fours and as many sixes, after taking three wickets to be adjudged player-of-the-match. Bangladesh captain Nazmul Hossain exuded confidence after making their maiden final birth a memorable one.
“We started the tournament with a target to win the trophy. Now we are very near to it but no way can we think about the trophy, rather we have to execute our plans and maintain the right process,” said Nazmul after the match.
“Pakistan’s bowling attack is very good, which we also saw during their semifinal game against India. We are not thinking about it but we want to play our own game by maintaining the right process,” he added.
Back to the match, pacer Hasan Mahmud made the most of the morning conditions, tattering the Afghanistan top order after the home team decided to field first. Hasan took three wickets as Afghanistan were reduced to 73 for five before Rasool brought back his side into contention with a 128-ball 114, including seven fours and as many sixes.
In reply, Bangladesh lost Naim Sheikh early on but Nazmul and Soumya shared 107 runs for the second wicket. Nazmul was dismissed for 59 runs off 68 balls and after that, Afif Hossain (45 not out) and Yasir Ali (39 not out) carried the team to easy win.
SCORES IN BRIEF
AFGHANISTAN: 228 for 9 in 50 overs (Rasool 114, Sayed 34, Tariq 33; Hasan Mahmud 3-48, Soumya 3-58, Tanvir 2-33)
BANGLADESH: 229 for 3 in 39.5 overs (Soumya 61, Shanto 59, Afif 45 not out, Yasir Ali 39 not out; Abdul 2-29, Omarzai 1-40)
Result: Bangladesh won by 7 wickets.
Player-of-the-match: Soumya Sarkar.