Youths tough it out to third




SRI LANKA: 214 all out in 48.5 overs (Asalanka 76, Ushan 34, Hasaranga 30; Mehedi 3-28, Saifuddin 2-48, Haleem 2-26)

BANGLADESH: 218 for 7 in 49.3 overs (Mehedi 53, Nazmul 40, Jaker 31 not out; Shammu Ashan 2-39)

When it comes to Bangladesh’s encounters in the Under-19 World Cup, there hasn’t been any shortage of excitement and yesterday was no different. Mehedi Hasan’s boys had to survive a topsy-turvy affair against Sri Lanka in the third-place game at Fatullah yesterday.

Chasing 215, at the halfway mark Bangladesh seemed to be cruising. Despite two early wickets, the team’s two best batsmen, Mehedi and Nazmul Hossain joined hands to bail the hosts out. They shared an 88-run stand for the third wicket to stabilise the scenario, which was a bit more tensed initially since Bangladesh were effectively three down—Jakir Ali, who had come into bat at three, had suffered from cramps and was sent back to the dressing room.

With 15 overs to go, the hosts required 68 runs and had eight wickets in hand and everything seemed in control. However, at that precise moment, Mehedi was run-out 53. Two overs later, a similar setback took place and this time the victim was Nazmul, who was run-out for 40.

So all of a sudden, the pressure was on the hosts. The run-rate eventually dropped and in the last ten overs they needed 56 runs. The situation went from bad to worse for the hosts as the required run-rate went over six in the final stages. Shafiul Hayet couldn’t take the pressure and was caught in the 46th over. That brought the equation down to 27 off 18 balls and the game was slowly slipping away.

But that’s when Mosabbek Hossain and Mohammad Saifuddin slammed two boundaries and got 12 runs of that over. As a result of the aggression though, Mosabbek lost his wicket in that over.

With 15 required of 12, Jaker shuffled across the stumps and scooped one for a four over fine-leg to calm the nerves. The end of that over saw another run-out, this time it was Saifuddin who had to depart.

After all the drama, the host required four runs of the last over. They managed to take three of the first two balls and then Jaker smacked a four to reach home with three balls and three wickets remaining.

Result: Bangladesh won by three wickets.

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