Bangladesh reached the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup final for the first time in their history after Mahmudul Hasan Joy’s century helped them comfortably beat New Zealand by six wickets in their semi-final showdown at the JB Marks Oval in Potchefstroom.
The right-hander struck exactly 100 off 127 balls to help his team chase down 212 in just 44.1 overs after their bowlers earlier did the business with the ball to restrict the Junior Black Caps to a modest total.
The result sparked wild celebrations and set up a competition finale against India in what will be the third all-Asian final and the first in U19 Cricket World Cup history outside the sub-continent.
“Today was a very special innings I played and I am proud of it,” man of the match Joy said. “This is the first time that Bangladesh have got to the final and we are all very happy.”
And Bangladesh were full value for their win, dominating the game from start to finish in South Africa’s North West province.
After winning the toss and bowling, Shamim Hossain (two for 31) struck with the 11th ball of the match to remove Rhys Mariu (1) and leave New Zealand on the back foot.
The opening bowler, along with Rakibul Hasan (one for 35) and Hasan Murad (two for 34) then made further inroads to leave their opponents on 74 for four, before Nicholas Lidstone (44) and Beckham Wheeler-Greenall’s cavalier 75 off 83 balls helped take them to a respectable total.
Shoriful Islam (three for 45) also did damage at the other end to finish as the pick of the bowlers.
The New Zealanders did manage two early breakthroughs in the form of Parvez Hossain Emon (14) and Tanzid Hassan (3) but Joy and Towhid Hridoy (40) put on 68 to steady the ship.
Captain Shahadat Hossain (40 not out) then helped complete the job alongside the centurion – the pair putting on 101 for the fourth wicket – to send Bangladesh through.
West Indies and Australia look to finish on a high
Revenge will be on the mind of Australia when they lock horns with West Indies for a second time in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup after losing their meeting in the group stages.
West Indies topped Group B ahead of Australia thanks to their three-wicket win at the Diamond Oval in Kimberley last month, with Nyeem Young’s 61 getting them over the line with three overs to spare.
Jake Fraser-McGurk led the way for Australia with the bat, hitting 84 from 97 balls, while Patrick Rowe added a valuable 40 before they were bowled out for 179 in the 36th over.
Jayden Seales (four for 49) and Matthew Forde (three for 24) did the damage with the ball as they shared seven wickets between them, with Australia losing their last six wickets for just 21 runs.
In response, Australia were able to make regular inroads in defending their total as leg-spinner Tanveer Sangha took four wickets to leave the young Windies side teetering on five for 92 after 25 overs.
But Young and Forde put on a pivotal 78-run stand for the sixth wicket and despite being unable to finish the job themselves, West Indies eased home to complete a three-wicket win with 18 balls remaining.
While both sides progressed to the Super League quarter-finals, Australia saw their shot at silverware ended by India before West Indies were beaten by New Zealand in their last eight contest.
West Indies then bounced back to defeat South Africa by four wickets in Play-Off Semi Final 1 and Australia overcame Afghanistan in Play-Off Semi Final 2 to set up a rematch at Willowmoore Park in Benoni.
Australia will be without Fraser-McGurk this time around but with Sam Fanning stepping up to the plate in his absence, and Sangha as dangerous as ever, they will be determined to secure fifth place.
Scores in brief
Bangladesh Under 19s beat New Zealand Under 19s by six wickets, JB Marks Oval, Potchefstroom
New Zealand 211-8, 50 overs (Beckham Wheeler-Greenall 75 not out, Nicholas Lidstone 44; Shoriful Islam 3-45)
Bangladesh 215-4, 44.1 overs (Mahmudul Hasan Joy 100, Shahadat Hossain 40 not out; David Hancock 1-31)
ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2020 Fixtures
5th Place Play-Off: 7 February: West Indies v Australia, Willowmoore Park, Benoni
3rd Place Play-Off: 8 February: Pakistan v New Zealand, Willowmoore Park, Benoni
Super League Final: 9 February: India v Bangladesh, JB Marks Oval, Potchefstroom