Good start for the new batch
Skipper Saif Hassan hit a fine 67 as the Bangladesh Under-19 team recorded a comprehensive four-wicket win against Afghanistan in their opening match of the ACC U-19 Asia Cup at the Uyanwatte Stadium in Matara today.
It was actually the first competitive match for a fresh youth team and Saif’s composed innings only speaks of the quality he has got. It was not flashy but matured in the context of the situation. His 129-ball knock contained 10 boundaries. The right-hander shared a vital 74 runs for the fourth wicket with Rayan Rafsan Rahman (32) to take Bangladesh close to victory, chasing a modest 147 to win in 50 overs.
Bangladesh were only five runs away when they lost three wickets including that of Saif, before reaching the target in 43.1 overs.
Earlier, the Bangladesh youths bowled their Afghanistan counterparts out for 146 with left-arm medium pacer Qazi Onik claiming four wickets for 22 runs in his eight overs. Right-arm pacer Mukidul Islam picked up three wickets, giving away 29 runs.
Placed in Pool B, the youths will take on Singapore at the Galle International Stadium today. They will also play their most important group league game against Pakistan, who thrashed Singapore yesterday by nine wickets and have earned one bonus point by racing to their victory target of 80 in just 8.3 overs, at Galle on Sunday.
India are leading the other group that includes Nepal, Malaysia and hosts Sri Lanka. All teams were involved in action on the opening day with India posting a massive 245-run win against Malaysia. Nepal gave hosts Sri Lanka a real scare before losing by the one run in an exciting game at Colombo where the home side posted 227.
SCORES IN BRIEF
AFGHANISTAN: 146 all out in 48.3 overs (Wahdat 32, Naveen 27, Parwiz 23; Mukidul 3-29, Onik 4-22)
BANGLADESH: 150 for 6 in 43.1 overs (Saif 67, Rayan 32; Zahir 2-21, Tariq 1-19)
Result: Bangladesh won by 4 wickets.