India, the defending champions, crashed out of the Under-19 Asia Cup after suffering an eight-wicket hammering at the hands of Bangladesh in their final Group A encounter in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday (November 14).
After India mustered 187 for 8 in a match reduced to 32 overs a side, Pinak Ghosh spearheaded Bangladesh’s chase. The opener remained unbeaten on 81 as Bangladesh reached 191 for 2, bringing up victory with four overs to spare.
Having been shocked by 19 runs in their previous game by Nepal, India needed to put it past unbeaten Bangladesh to stand any chance of going through on net run rate. Instead, in a match affected by the weather at the Kinrara Oval, they were comprehensively outclassed by Bangladesh, who thus topped the group with an all-win record to qualify for the next stage.
Nepal, who crushed Malaysia at the Bayuemas Oval by eight wickets, advanced from Group A as the second-placed team.
Having been put in, India had reached 23 for 1 in 5.5 overs when rain stopped play. When action resumed after a prolonged interruption, India found no tempo as Bangladesh kept striking regularly through their trio of offspinners.
Anuj Rawat, the wicketkeeper-batsman, weighed in with a studied 34 and Salman Khan provided the late impetus with an unbeaten 39 off 38 deliveries, but Nayeem Hasan, Robiul Haque and Afif Hossain kept a reasonably tight leash on proceedings and picked up key wickets at crucial times to ensure that the game didn’t get out of hand.
Robiul was the most successful bowler with 3 for 43, Nayeem ended up with 2 for 38 and Afif picked up 2 for 38.
Bangladesh’s chase was frenetic and without panic. Ghosh and Naim Sheikh set off alarm bells in the Indian camp by taking the fight to Arshdeep Singh and Darshan Nalkande during an opening stand of 82 that spanned just 79 deliveries. Mandeep Singh briefly ignited Indian hopes by dismissing Sheikh for 38 and then accounting for Saif Hassan, the captain, as Bangladesh suddenly slipped to 108 for 2.
Ghosh, however, found another able ally in Towhid Hridoy as India visibly wilted. The pair added 83 for the unfinished third wicket in only 61 deliveries, Hridoy heralding the end with two sixes and a four in the 28th over sent down by Arshdeep. While Hridoy finished on 48 off 32 deliveries with two fours and four sixes, Ghosh’s unbeaten 81 came off 77 deliveries and contained six fours and three sixes.
In the other game, Sandeep Lamichhane, the legspinner, took an astonishing 5 for 8 in 4.3 overs to send Malaysia crashing to 45 all out in a match curtailed to 24 overs a side. The innings was marked by six ducks, and only Syed Aziz and Virandeep Singh, the captain, reached double-figures. Nepal hurtled to 48 for 2 in a mere 5.2 overs in reply.
India Under-19 187 for 8 in 32 overs (Anuj Rawat 34, Salman Khan 39 n.o.; Nayeem Hasan 2-38, Robiul Haque 3-43, Afif Hossain 2-38) lost to Bangladesh Under-19 191 for 2 in 28 overs (Pinak Ghosh 81 n.o., Naim Sheikh 38, Towhid Hridoy 48 n.o.; Mandeep Singh 2-36) by eight wickets.
Malaysia Under-19 45 all out in 15.3 overs (Dipendra Singh Airee 2-1, Sandeep Lamichhane 5-8, Shahab Alam 2-3) lost to Nepal Under-19 48 for 2 in 5.2 overs (Anil Sah 26 n.o.; Vijay Unni 2-17) by eight wickets.