U19s Cricket World Cup: Bangladesh beat India in final to win first title

POTCHEFSTROOM (Agencies): Yashasvi Jaiswal once again showed why he’s one to watch out for in the future, cracking 88 off 121 balls. His dismissal then set in motion an Indian collapse of 21 for 7 in 7.4 overs. In pursuit of 178, Bangladesh suffered a similar collapse, losing 6 for 52, as both the sides seemed to be passing the trophy to each other.

Dropped catches, fumbles, overthrows, over-the-top appeals, and some verbal jousting added to the drama of the 2020 Under-19 World Cup final. Heck, rain made an appearance as well, leaving the sides scrambling for DLS calculations. After the weather cleared, the target was adjusted to 170, and Bangladesh needed seven off 30 balls with three wickets in hand.

Captain Akbar Ali and No.9 Rakibul Hasan rose above all the chaos upon resumption and coolly led Bangladesh to their first-ever ICC title at any level. It was Hasan who struck the winning runs, when he stepped out and launched the Under-19 Asia Cup hero Atharva Ankolekar over midwicket. The celebrations that followed were as crazy as the game itself.

Such a finish did not seem as likely when Bangladesh were well in front at 50 for 0 in the ninth over. Legspinner Ravi Bishnoi then let rip one wrong’un after another to send Bangladesh on a tailspin.

Parvez Hossain Emon, who had retired hurt on 25 in the 13th over, made a heroic return, much like how an injured Tamim Iqbal had done during the Asia Cup in 2018, and made a vital 47 off 79 balls to bring the target within Bangladesh’s reach.

Emon, who struggled to run between the wickets, popped in pills and laced left-arm seamer Aakash Singh for a brace of cover-driven fours to ease the nerves in the Bangladesh camp.

Captain Priyam Garg then punted on Jaiswal’s part-time legspin, and he delivered by having Emon scooping a catch to short cover. This meant Bangladesh needed 35 off 108 balls (it was revised after the rain). Ali, though, didn’t budge. He went 16 balls without scoring when he was on 32. But, he absorbed all the pressure, ran hard between the wickets and finished it off sensibly.

Shoriful Islam had also played a starring role in Bangladesh’s historic win. He bowled rip-roaring spells with both the new ball and the old one. He was electric in the field – and off his own bowling too. Tanzim Hasan Sakib and Avishek Das, too, bowled intense spells as India’s batting line-up wilted in the face of relentless bowling.