Bangladesh through as group champions
The Pakistan Under-19 team held their nerves after a monumental collapse for a dramatic one-wicket victory over their Bangladeshi counterparts in their Asian Cricket Council Under-19s Asia Cup match at the Galle International Stadium today.
Despite their voctory, Pakistan are out of the tournament, while Bangladesh have gone through to the semifinals as champions of Group B.
Pakistan were cruising at 176 for four and had 14.2 overs remaining to reach the target of 231, but nerves, combined with some gritty bowling, made that simple task much more difficult.
Shakhawat Hossain initiated the carnage by castling Waqar Ahmed for 7 in the 40th over, leaving Pakistan at 201 for five. Incredibly, Pakistan went on to lose four further wickets for the next 15 runs, with three of the batsmen being run-out in an almost comedic script. Afif Hossain picked up the other, getting Shaheen Shah Afradi out for a golden duck.
Saad Khan (18 not out) then joined hands with Muhammad Hasnain as the pair took their time before eventually leading Pakistan home with five balls to spare.
The platform for the win was set early in the Pakistan innings by opener Muhammad Zaid Alam, who hit a fine half-century and was ably supported by Abdullah Shafique (30) and Nasir Nawaz (45).
Afif was the pick of Bangladesh’s bowlers, picking up two wickets for 37 runs, while Shakhawat Hossain finished with figures of 2-43.
Earlier, after being sent into bat, Afif Hossain and Mohammad Rakib took Bangladesh to 230.
Bangladesh made a sluggish start, and could not score freely due to the disciplined bowling and the nature of the pitch at Galle. The first wicket partnership of 31 in 8.4 overs was followed by a 43-run stand in 11 overs, before Bangladesh lost couple of quick wickets to find themselves in trouble at 4-100 inside 29 overs.
However, a fifth-wicket partnership of 77 runs in 14.4 between Afif and Rakib took their team to a challenging total.
Afif made a valuable 80 from 94 balls, with eight fours and two sixes to his name. Mohammad Rakib contributed with 42 from 53 balls. Bangladesh received 30 runs from extras to add to their total in the end.
For Pakistan, Shaheen Afradi, Muhammad Husnain, Umer Khan and Nasir Nawaz took two wickets each.
SCORES IN BRIEF:
BANGLADESH: 230 all out in 49.5 overs (Afif 80, Rakib 42; Nasir 2-11, Umer 2-32)
PAKISTAN: 233 for 9 in 49.1 overs (Zaid Alam 50, Nawaz 45; Afif 2-37, Shakhawat 2-43)
Result: Pakistan won by one wicket.