Bangladesh open account with Ireland win; Australia overcome spirited Namibia
The fourth day of ICC Under-19 Men’s Cricket World Cup 2024 saw Bangladesh secure their first win of the tournament; whereas Australia found success against a resilient Namibia side in Kimberley.
An unbeaten century stand for the fifth-wicket between Ahrar Amin and Mohammad Shihab James helped Bangladesh chase down Ireland’s 236 in Bloemfontein. Earlier, Kian Hilton’s 90 had rescued Ireland from 95-4 to 235-8.
Australia dominated the proceedings in the first innings to bowl Namibia out for 91. However, the Eagles fought back with the new ball, sending back half the Australian side for 57. A resilient stand for the sixth wicket secured an eventual win for the young Australians.
Bangladesh defeated Ireland in Bloemfontein
Ireland were off to a positive start, with the openers getting off the mark with three boundaries after patiently seeing off the first 10 balls. The European side were going at a healthy pace, when Maruf Mridha struck with his left-arm pace, getting Ryan Hunter caught at the gully.
Despite the early wicket, Ireland remained positive through the first Powerplay, going at a respectable pace of 4.50 runs per over.
The arrival of spin saw Bangladesh surge back into the game. Sheikh Parvez Jibon and Uzzaman Rafi chipped in with the wickets of Gavin Roulston (5) and Jordan Neill (31) in the 11th and 16th over.
Jibon struck once more around the mid-innings mark to remove the Ireland skipper Phillipe le Roux, and the Tigers were right on top. Kian Hilton rose to the occasion when the chips were down, and took on the Bangladesh bowlers.
Primarily targeting the tweakers, Hilton and Scott Macbeth hit seven fours between overs 25-35. As the partnership grew stronger, Bangladesh lost their discipline under the pressure and gave away several loose deliveries.
Despite losing MacBeth (27) in the 41st over, Ireland kept charging ahead at the back of Hilton’s aggression. The batter eventually fell 10 short of a hundred in the 49th over with Ireland adding 61 runs in the last 10 overs.
In response, the young Tigers were off to a confident start with Ashiqur Rahman Shibli and Adil Bin Siddik adding 55 runs, including six boundaries, in the first Powerplay.
The ball gripped after the introduction of spinners in the second Powerplay. Shibli and Siddik were watchful and the scoring rate came down as a result.
However, the Asian side remained well ahead of the required run rate. Left-arm pacer Matthew Weldon eventually broke through for Ireland, and sent back Siddik for 36.
MacBeth sent back Shibli soon after, but Chodwury Md Rizwan and Ariful Islam kept the Tigers on track with a brisk stand. Islam’s aggression got the better of him, when he tried to charge down the track against MacBeth and ended up getting stumped. One brought two, as Rizwan followed Islam to the pavilion after he was caught off John McNally.
Ahrar Amin and Mohammad Shihab James again came together to stabilise the innings and help Bangladesh close in on the target. Bangladesh added 53 runs between overs 31-40, ensuring that they needed less than five an over at the start of the final 10 overs.
It was easy going from then on for Bangladesh, and the Tigers sealed the game in the 47th over. Amin and James added 109 runs for the fifth wicket.
Australia defeated Namibia by four wickets in Kimberley
Hugh Weibgen won the toss and elected to field against Namibia. The African side found the going tough against the pace and accuracy of Charlie Anderson and Callum Vidler.
The latter was the first to strike, cleaning up opener Hansie de Villiers before trapping JW Visagie leg before. The pinpoint precision of Australia ensured that Namibia went at less than run an over in their first seven overs.
It was Zacheo van Vuuren who opened arms towards the end of first Powerplay, hitting a brace of boundaries against Anderson. Tom Straker continued the good work for Australia beyond the first Powerplay, getting opener Gerhard Janse van Rensberg (2) and then the big wicket of van Vuuren (29).
Janse van Rensberg fell while trying to cut a good length delivery, while van Vuuren nicked one to the slip while driving a fuller length ball.
Straker followed up with the wicket of Ryan Moffett (3) to put Australia right on top. With Mahli Beardman’s dismissal of Jack Brassell, Namibia had lost six, and were staring down the barrel.
Despite a spirited knock from captain Alexander Volschenk, who took on the spinner, Raf MacMillan, with a four and a six off consecutive balls, Namibia’s effort crumbled by the 34th over.
Despite losing Sam Konstas to an ill-advised leave against Brassell early in their chase, Australia kept going for their shorts in pursuit of a modest target.
Harry Dixon batted with intent and hit the early boundaries to get the innings going. However, the southpaw played one shot too many and ended up pulling one straight to mid-on off Hanro Badenhorst in the sixth over.
Australia lost two more within the first Powerplay as Namibia fought back. Harjas Singh nicked one behind off Brassell in the seventh over, while Badenhorst had a second when Ryan Hicks played on at eight.
Australia seemed to be in trouble when Corey Wasley too fell cheaply. However, skipper Hugh Weibgen and MacMillan stitched a secure 30-run stand that put Australia on course for their first win in the tournament. (ICC)