Resolute Bangladesh eyeing to lift ICC U19 WC trophy

DHAKA Emboldened by their recent performance, Bangladesh Under-19 team is determined to clinch the ICC Under-19 World Cup as they take on mighty India in the final at Senwes Park in Potchefstroom, South Africa tomorrow (Sunday).

The high-voltage final game begins at 2 PM (Bangladesh Time).

While they won most of the match in the build up to the Youth World Cup and defeated almost all teams, they always have the mental block against India. Against the mighty neighbouring country, they lost every knock-out game, they have played in the last two years-notably the Tri-nation series final in England and Asia Cup final.

And when the history beckons them, India again came in their way. So the burning question is whether they can break the dreaded trend of losing streak against India tomorrow?

But they are oozing with confidence to break the Indian hoodoo this time around. The confidence basically stemmed from their familiarity with the South African condition and the vastly improved batting and bowling attack.

Because we couldn't arrange a tour of South Africa in 2018 and 2019, we came to this country a month before the tournament. The bounce of the wickets was a bit high, so we took our time to get used to it. We played four practice games even before the warm-ups, Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) game development chairman Khaled Mahmud Sujon told the reporters in Potchefstroom.

In the top five, everyone is among the runs. Someday Tanzid Hasan will score, on other days Towhid Hridoy will score. Mahmudul Hasan had a lean run, but because we continued to back him, he delivered with a hundred in the semi-final, he added.

Even as a bowling unit, we have looked to not be one-dimensional. Fast bowling and leg-spin have been two key points in us coming forward. To play the top teams you need quality and varied bowlers, both with the new and the old ball.

The boys have worked hard under Champaka Ramanayake, the Sri Lankan fast bowling coach at the academy. In four-five years, you'll see a revolution in fast bowling. Bangladesh Under-19 team in fact hardly faced any trouble on the way to their final-a fact that demonstrated their determination and power.

In a rain-curtailed first game, they crushed Zimbabwe by nine wickets through D/L method before showing another powerful performance to outclass Scotland by seven wickets.

They however had a torrid time against Pakistan and were reduced to 106-9 before rain washed out the game, which also helped them to be champions in Group C. Bangladesh's groundbreaking two performances came against in the knock-out stage.

Firstly in Super League Quarterfinal, they whacked hosts South Africa past by 104 runs, frustrating the partisan home crowd. And then they quite comfortably beat New Zealand in the semifinal by six wickets, thanks to a scintillating century of Mahmudul Hasan Joy.

The victory in semifinal was particularly overwhelming for the young Tigers given the fact that normally in the multinational tournament they crumbled under pressure in the last four game always.

As they overcame the nervy moment with two epic performances in quarterfinal and semifinal, there was high hope that they also could challenge the India to make the history.

It was the golden chance for us to make statement and we don't want to squander it, Bangladesh captain Akbar Ali said.

All of the players are determined to make the occasion colourful one by winning the trophy. Hopefully we will come up with their best.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)