Bangladesh Under-19 Cricket Team will face New Zealand in the 2nd semifinal of the ongoing ICC Under-19 World Cup in South Africa on Thursday.
India booked a seat for the final eliminating their arch-rival Pakistan by huge 10 wickets in the first semifinal on Tuesday. They will play the final on February 9 at Senwes Park, Potchefstroom against the winners of the second semifinal.
On the way to semifinals, Bangladesh beat one of the strongest contenders and hosts, South Africa, by massive 104 runs at their quarterfinal at Senwes Park, Potchefstroom on January 30.
On the other hand, New Zealand reached the semifinals beating West Indies at Willowmoore Park, Benoni.
If the Young Tigers can beat New Zealand in the semifinal, it will be Bangladesh's best achievement in any World Cup as no Bangladeshi team managed to reach the final in the past.
Bangladesh captain Akbar Ali said they are confident enough to beat Young Kiwis like they beat them 4-1 in a five-match series last year.
We're well-prepared both mentally and physically. Now, everything is about implementing our plan in the field. If we can play our usual game, I do hope we can get the expected results, Akbar told the media ahead of the semifinal.
New Zealand advanced to the Super League quarterfinal with a single win in the group phase. They lost one game and another one ended in no result.
But, Akbar said New Zealand are a tough opponent.
New Zealand advanced to the semifinals playing a good brand of cricket. So, they are obviously a tough opponent for us. They have a long batting line-up. We'll try to restrict them to a small total if we bowl first. I believe if we can play our natural game, we can win this game, he further said.
We are not taking much pressure in the match. We should take it as another game. If we think it's a semifinal or final, it'll just get heavier. We're trying to stay calm and play good cricket in the field, Akbar added.
Bangladesh U-19 World Cup squad: Towhid Hridoy, Shoriful Islam, Tanzid Hasan, Rakibul Hasan, Shahadat Hossain, Shamim Hossain, Akbar Ali (c and wk), Mahmudul Hasan Joy, Parvez Hossain Emon, Tanzim Hasan Sakib, Hasan Murad, Avishek Das, Prantik Nawrose Nabil and Shahin Alam.
Source: United News of Bangladesh