Junior Tigers face Afghans in U19 Asia Cup semis
Published: 23:28 11 September 2019
Three days after the senior side tasting a humiliating 224-run defeat against Afghanistan in one-off Test, the Bangladesh Under-19 will take on junior Afghans side in the semifinal of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) Under-19 Asia Cup at Moratuwa in Sri Lanka on Thursday.
Bangladesh came to the semifinal, having been unbeaten in group phase as they beat the likes of UAE, Nepal and hosts Sri Lanka. By being the group champions, they avoided tournament favourites India in the semifinal.
But according to ACC website, “There may be a sigh of relief among Bangladesh cricketers and management that they have managed to top group ‘B’ and avoid India in the semi-finals, but hey, Afghanistan won’t be a walk in the park in the semi-finals.
The Afghans sent Pakistan home early bundling them out for 78 runs inside 20 overs in the opening contest of the competition. They gave India a scare as well and in fact they should start the semi-final as favourites.”
Afghans chinaman Noor Ahmad and leg-spinner Shafiqullah Ghafari have been sensational in the tournament so far having bowled so well and scripted some famous wins. The two wrist spinners operate in tandem and if Bangladesh were to come on top of that phase of the game that will be the key in beating Afghanistan.
Coincidentally Bangladesh national team was undone by Afghans wrist spinners and chaiman bowlers in the one-off Test in Chattogram too.
Coached by former Sri Lanka Test cricketer Naveed Nawaz, Bangladesh juniors need to come up with a few plans to play well against Afghan wrist spinners.
Opening batsman Mahmudul Joy will be the key for Bangladesh. The elegant right-handed batsman will play the anchor role and then he has the ability to clear the boundary as well in the death overs.
Much will be expected of left-arm spinner Rakibul Hasan, who is Bangladesh’s main bowler.
Afghanistan’s bowlers may defend small totals and then bowl out oppositions cheaply but their batting is so fragile that it causes serious problems. So far, no Afghanistan batsman has been able to score a half-century in the competition.
Meanwhile, India will take on Sri Lanka in the other semifinal at the same day in P Sara stadium.
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