Ariful Islam’s counter-punching fifty and a fiery spell by left-arm pacer Maruf Mridha helped Bangladesh score a facile four-wicket win over India to reach the final of the ACC Under-19 Asia Cup Friday. On a slightly double-paced pitch, Indian batters struggled to get going before getting bundled out for 188 in 42.4 overs, with Musheer Khan (50) and Murugan Abhishek (62) doing all the scoring for them. Maruf took 4 for 41 to give early jolts to India in the second semifinal.
Despite some jitters, Bangladesh went over the line pretty comfortably in 42.5 overs with Islam (94 off 90 balls) defending the Indian charge with an engaging innings.
However, Maruf kickstarted India’s poor day with a superb opening spell.
The pacer found some bounce and swing upfront to reduce India to 13 for three inside seven overs. Openers Adarsh Singh, Arshin Kulkarni and captain Uday Saharan returned without troubling the scorers much.
But Musheer and Abhishek shared an 84-run alliance for the seventh-wicket to rescue India from a precarious 61 for 6.
They batted quite fluently and Musheer brought up his fifty off 59 balls with a single long-off Mahfuzur Rahman.
Abhishek clobbered Sheikh Jibon for a huge six over long-off to bring his fifty in 64 balls.
However, both the batters departed without building further as India sank to a modest total.
In reply, Bangladesh too made a shaky start and were 34 for three in 9.4 overs.
But Islam found an able alley in Ahrar Amin (44 off 101 balls) as the duo milked 138 runs for a stubborn fourth wicket stand to peg India back.
Islam was a bit circumspect to begin with but once found his range, the right-hander played some delectable shots around the park to deny Indian bowlers for a long while.
Bangladesh lost a couple of more wickets towards the end, but that only created an artificial excitement.
UAE stun Pakistan
In the first semifinal, UAE shocked fancied Pakistan by 11 runs to set up a date with Bangladesh in the final.
UAE made 193 all out largely thanks to a 55 (57 balls) by captain Aayan Khan and a 46 off 70 balls by opener Aryansh Sharma.
They then defended the target zealously to bowl out Pakistan to 182 all out with three balls to spare.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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