MIRPUR – The West Indies broke Bangladeshi hearts with a thrilling three-wicket win over their hosts in Mirpur today to set up the title clash with India in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup.
The keenly contested encounter had a number of excellent performers but in the end it was Barbadian all-rounder Shamar Springer, starring with bat and ball, who got West Indies over the winning line. Springer followed up his two for 36 with an unbeaten 62, which steered the West Indies past Bangladesh’s 226 all out with eight balls to spare in front of thousands of dejected home fans.
The West Indies, which had also reached the final when the tournament was staged in Bangladesh in 2004, will meet an undefeated India for the title in Mirpur this Sunday. This will be the first-ever final between the two sides at the age-group level.
Bangladesh skipper Mehidy Hasan top-scored with 60, reviving the innings with a 85-run stand for the sixth wicket with Mohammad Saifuddin (36), after half the side had been dismissed for 113 runs.
The West Indies lost wickets regularly to keep Bangladesh in the hunt until Springer built on skipper Shimron Hetmyer’s half-century to record a memorable victory.
Bangladesh, electing to bat on a misty morning, lost openers Pinak Ghosh and Saif Hassan by the seventh over to make it 27 for two. It then slipped to 88 for four after star batsman Nazmul Hossain was dismissed for 11 and Joyraz Sheik fell for 35.
Mehidy hit seven boundaries in Saifuddin’s company before both the batsmen fell off successive deliveries by seamer Keemo Paul.
Mosabbek Hossain denied the bowler a hat-trick, but Paul finished with impressive figures of three for 20 from just three overs. Springer and Chemar Holder took two wickets apiece.
Gidron Pope as usual provided the West Indies a swashbuckling start by taking 14 of the first over bowled by Mehidy before racing to 38 off 25 balls, which included five fours and a six.
Hetmyer took 16 deliveries to get off the mark before making a 59-ball 60 to lift his team to 147 for three in the 28th over.
West Indies moved to 177 for four, needing just 50 more runs in 13 overs, when left-arm spinner Saleh Ahmed turned the game around with two wickets in the 38th over.
Springer kept his end up and punished the loose balls before ending the match with two consecutive boundaries through the covers off Saifuddin.
“It’s a great feeling and an even better feeling to be in the final, a dream come true,” said Springer. “It was quite a challenge out there, but I just backed myself to do well.”
Added Hetmyer: “Credit to the bowlers for not allowing Bangladesh to run up a big score. It was a good wicket to bat on, but we did well to keep them down to 226.
“Springer was excellent as always. We lost quite a few wickets, but as long as Springer was out in the middle we knew we had a great chance.
“We are very excited about playing India in the final. It will be a very good contest.”
Mehidy rued the lack of runs by the batsmen, but praised the team for giving the West Indies a good fight.
“It was a slow pitch, but 226 was not enough,” the Bangladesh captain said. “But I am happy with the way the team fought till the end. Till the last boundary, we thought we could win it.
“We are disappointed that we could not give our fans a win, but our biggest achievement was to reach the semi-finals for the first time. We will still try to finish third in the tournament.”
President of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Dave Cameron praised the efforts of the young Windies team.
“On behalf of the WICB I would like to offer the team best wishes as they look forward to the final on Sunday against India. The team in spite of challenges in the earlier rounds remained focused and that has been evident in the way the team has conducted themselves.
“This is indeed a time for us to celebrate and cheer on the young men as they try to create history,” Cameron said
Pinak Ghosh c Paul b Holder 0
Saif Hassan c Goolie b Joseph 10
Joyraz Sheik b Springer 35
Nazmul Hossain Shanto c Hetmyer b
Zakir Hasan+ b Holder 24
Mehedi Hasan Miraz* c Frew b Paul 60
Mohammad Saifuddin b Paul 36
Saeed Sarkar b Paul 3
Mosabbek Hossain b Springer 14
Mehedi Hasan Rana not out 10
Saleh Ahmed Shawon run out
Extras: (lb 6, w 13, nb 3) 22
Total: (all out; 50 overs) 226
Fall of Wickets: 1-10 , 2-27 , 3-58,
4-88, 5-113, 6-198, 7-198, 8-205, 9-217,
Bowling: Joseph 7-1-33-1 (2nb,5w),
Holder 10-1-36-2 (1nb,3w),
Springer 10-0-36-2 (4w),
Goolie 2-0-13-0,Pope 6-0-35-0,
Frew 4-0-18-0,Paul 3-0-20-3
WEST INDIES UNDER-19s innings
G Pope b Mehedi Hasan Miraz 38
T Imlach† lbw b Mehedi Hasan Miraz 14
S Hetmyer* c Saif Hassan b
Mohammad Saifuddin 60
K Carty b Saleh Ahmed Shawon 22
S Springer not out 62
J Goolie lbw b Saleh Ahmed Shawon 9
K Paul b Saleh Ahmed Shawon 4
M Frew c †Zakir Hasan b
Mohammad Saifuddin 12
R John not out 2
Extras: (w 6, nb 1) 7
Total: (7 wickets; 48.4 overs) 230
Fall of wickets 1-44 , 2-56 , 3-118,
4-147, 5-177, 6-181, 7-217,
Did not bat: A Joseph, C Holder
Bowling: Miraz 10-0-57-2,
Rana 6-1-28-0 (5w),
Saifuddin 9.4-0-46-2 (1nb),
Shawon 10-2-31-0, Sarkar 2-0-21-0,
Result: West Indies U19s won
by three wickets.
Series: West Indies U19s
advance to finals.
Umpires: R Bailey, R Palliyaguruge ;
TV – R Robinson.