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Thursday, February 6, 2020

India and Bangladesh will play the finals of U19 Cricket World Cup 2020

Priyam Garg will hope to join Mohammad Kaif, Virat Kohli, Unmukt Chand and Prithvi Shaw, the India Under-19 World Cup-winning captains over the years.  He is close to achieving this dream as India would take on Bangladesh in the Finals of U19 World Cup. In the post-match conference after beating Pak in the Semis – Garg was assisted by Paras Mhambrey – who translated the English Qs – enabling Garg answering in Hindi.  Remember that decades ago, in NZ – Narendra Hirwani could not understand the Q of the Match Presenter, WV Raman who was standing nearby tried his Hindi !!

NZ press went ahoy – they had pleaded that they'd been unlucky in the Twenty20 series – that Super Over defeats weren't a reflective measure of skill, instead carrying a massive dollop of luck. Were mental frailties at play? No, they insisted, poor execution and bad luck was to blame… .. then when that win came, they went overboard.  They won when their Coach was away, pulling off the largest chase in New Zealand's ODI history, sensationally chasing down 348 for a famous victory at Seddon Park.

In a sidestep, Umpire Langton Rusere's big-stage debut was marked by a horrible error in Hamilton. The Zimbabwean official - and New Zealand batsman Henry Nicholls - got a reprieve from television replays but questions remained how the rookie could have got it so wrong initially. Rusere ruled that Nicholls had been caught off the bowling of India's Mohammed Shami in the fourth over of New Zealand's reply in the first of three one-day internationals. However, Nicholls instantly asked for the decision to be referred to the television umpire, knowing he hadn't got an inside edge off his bat and onto his pad, as the ball ballooned out to the fielder. Subsequent replays showed the ball passed Nicholls' bat without getting near the willow - while any hope that he may have been out lbw was also checked and easily dismissed.

Back to U19 WC, after  a comprehensive win against New Zealand in the U-19 World Cup semi-final, Bangladesh have proceeded to the final and will now face India on February 9 at Potchefstroom. Earlier, India thrashed Pakistan by 10 wickets in the first semi-final of the tournament to proceed into the finals of the U-19 World Cup for the third consecutive time. Mahmudul Hasan Joy starred in Bangladesh's victory against the Blackcaps as he notched up a brilliant century while chasing a target of 212 set by New Zealand.   The scorecard reads :  Bangladesh Under-19 215 for 4 (Joy 100, Shahadat 40*) beat New Zealand Under-19 211 for 8 (Wheeler-Greenall 75, Lidstone 44, Islam 3-45, Shamim 2-31) by six wickets.

Mahmudul Hasan Joy ended his run of poor scores with his fourth Youth ODI century to secure Bangladesh's maiden World Cup final - across levels and genders - for the Under-19 tournament against India on February 9. Joy's hundred helped Bangladesh chase down 212 with six wickets in hand and nearly six overs to spare, after the bowlers restricted New Zealand to 211 for 8 in Potchefstroom. Joy had a best score of 38* in his last eight innings and the early departure of Bangladesh's openers on Thursday didn't make things any easier for him. He  anchored the chase by striking 13 fours in his 127-ball innings of 100.  That Bangladesh chased a total under 250 was courtesy of their all-round bowling performance that continuously pegged New Zealand's scoring rate. Asked to bat, New Zealand struggled with their tempo and if it wasn't for Beckham Wheeler-Greenall's 83-ball 75, they would have finished with a much smaller total, having been reduced to 142 for 6 at one point.

~ one among the Kiwi players was Aditya Ashok.  In the years to come, New Zealand U-19 legspinner Adithya Ashok wants to play for the Chennai Super Kings. It seems a natural choice for the 17-year-old, who was born in Vellore in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. But if he doesn't make it that far, he is happy as long as he is the "best version of himself". So far in the U-19 World Cup in South Africa, he has been the side's exciting bowler.

Adithya was four years old when his parents moved to Auckland. Born to a nurse and a cricketer-turned-radiographer, he remembers the time his father mowed a strip in the garden behind their house to "infect the love for cricket" within his son, and since then Adithya hasn't looked back. This isn't the first time he is taking part in a World Cup. In 2015, he was the New Zealand captain at the Under-13 Indoor Cricket World Cup in Australia. However, looking at his long-term goals made him quit that format of the sport, because his stroke-making in the indoor format was having an adverse effect on his outdoor batting.

Interesting !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
6th Feb 2020.

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