Sports, Cricket

Young players step up for Bangladesh in Asia Cup

Published : 18 Sep 2023 07:41 PM

Amid the rain interruption, the Asia Cup finallyended after India clinched the trophy for the eighth time in a lopsidedcontest against co-host Sri Lanka.

The final match was also interrupted by rain but when it started Indiabowlers, led by Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj ran Sri Lanka ragged todismiss them for only 50 runs in 15.2 overs and eventually led the side to a10-wicket victory.

Coming as favourite, Bangladesh tasted a five-wicket defeat to Sri Lanka, a defeat that left their promotion in Super Four in limbo. However, they showeda spirited performance in the second match against Afghanistan, positing a334-5, which was their highest total on foreign soil. Afghanistan were ableto put up 245 as Bangladesh secured a 89-run victory to confirm their SuperFour.

Najmul Hossain Shanto scored 89 runs against Sri Lanka and then followed it with 104 againstAfghanistan. Such was his impact that Bangladesh found no suitable batter inNo.3 position to replace him due to injury. And such was his impact that he was the Bangladesh bestbatsman in thetournament, playing just two matches in which, he made 193.Shakib Al Hasan was second to him with 173 runs in five matches while MehidyHasan Miraz with 158 was the other batter to score over 150 runs.

But still Bangladesh avoided the shamble, largely thanks to young players, especially the former Under-19 World Cup winning players. Towhid Hridoy,Tanzim Hasan Sakib who were the part of that team, shone brightly with Hridoymaking two half-centuries. His two fifties came at a moment when the criticslashed at him saying that he is the player for big stage. He then respondedwith a 85-run against Sri Lanka to single-handedly drive the side to almost avictory and then scored crucial 54 against India. Sakib meanwhile made adream debut with 2-32 and his handed Rohit Sharma a second-ball duck whichwas instrumental in Bangladesh's six-run victory.

Taskin Ahmed and Shoriful Islam didn't play the last game of Bangladeshagainst India. But still they were highest wicket-takers for Bangladesh. Thenew ball pair took 16 wickets in combined with Taskin taking nine wickets infive matches and Shoriful grabbing seven wickets in four matches. That statitself proved how formidable duo they can be in World Cup.