Cricket: Bangladesh revel in first-ever Under-19 Asia Cup triumph

The UAE's batting collapsed against the formidable Bangladesh team which remained unbeaten in the tournament

by

Rituraj Borkakoty

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Bangladesh players celebrate with the trophy. — Photo by Rituraj Borkakoty
Bangladesh players celebrate with the trophy. — Photo by Rituraj Borkakoty

Published: Sun 17 Dec 2023, 8:05 PM

Last updated: Sun 17 Dec 2023, 10:25 PM

There was no fairytale ending in the Under-19 Asia Cup for the home boys whose stunning wins over Pakistan and Sri Lanka stirred the soul.

Having gone on a giant-killing run to reach the final, the UAE ran into an inspired Ashiqur Rahman Shibli, a talented Bangladesh opener who grew up idolising modern giant Virat Kohli.

Shibli’s majestic hundred (129 off 149 balls, 12 fours and 1 six) helped Bangladesh score 282 for eight before their bowlers turned up the heat and bowled the UAE out for a paltry 87.

The emphatic 195-run victory at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium gave Bangladesh, who remained unbeaten in the tournament, their first-ever Under-19 Asia Cup title.

Shibli was immense throughout the campaign, scoring 378 runs with two hundreds and two half-centuries.

The 18-year-old batter earned the player-of-the-match and the player-of-the-tournament trophies for his outstanding performance.

But he admitted that the UAE bowlers, especially their pacers, put up a big fight in the first half of the Bangladesh innings on Monday.

Ayman Ahamed (10-0-52-4) and Omid Rehman (10-1-41-2) were impressive with the new ball for the UAE in the morning.

Shibli showed remarkable talent and temperament to deal with the probing opening spell as he went on to lay the foundation for a big total with some good support from Chowdhur Md Rizwan (60 off 71 balls) and Ariful Islam (50 off 41 balls).

“I am very happy with my hundred. But it was not easy to bat at the start of the innings. The UAE bowlers bowled really well, they are very good bowlers,” Shibli said.

“I needed to show a lot of patience to play a long innings. I am very happy that I managed to do that to help the team.

“It’s a great moment for the team to win this tournament, this victory means a lot to us.”

Number four batter Dhruv Parashar (25 not out off 40 balls) was the only UAE player to have put up a fight against the Bangla attack.

“I think as a team, we can bat much better than that. Our batting didn’t click today. The credit also goes to the Bangladesh bowlers, they didn’t give many loose balls. We lost a lot of wickets to good balls,” said the batting all-rounder who finished the tournament with 10 wickets.

“Overall, it was a great tournament for us. It was a dream to win the final but we came close. It was amazing to beat two Test-playing teams (Pakistan and Sri Lanka) and reach the final.

“For an associate nation to come this far, we are proud of our effort. the boys were amazing, the coaching staff was great, so onwards and upwards from here!”

Brief scores:

Bangladesh beat UAE by 195 runs in the final.

Bangladesh 282/8 in 50 overs (Ashiqur Rahman Shibli 129, Chowdhur Md Rizwan 60, Ariful Islam 50; Ayman Ahamed 4/52, Omid Rehman 2/41)

UAE 87 all out in 24.5 overs (Dhruv Parashar 25 not out; Rohanat Doullah Borson 3/26, Maruf Midha 3/29, Sheikh Paevez Jibon 2/7, Iqbal Hossain Emon 2/15).

Champions: Bangladesh

Runners-up: UAE

Player-of-the-final: Ashiqur Rahman Shibli (129 runs)

Player-of-the-tournament: Ashiqur Rahman Shibli (378 runs)

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