Bangladesh stun defending champions South Africa in U-19 World Cup

Chittagong, Jan 27: Hosts Bangladesh were off to a flying start in the Under-19 cricket World Cup tourment with a 43-run victory over defending champions South Africa in the opening Group A match here on Wednesday.

Elsewhere in a Group C fixture at the M.A. Aziz Stadium here, Dan Lawrence and Jack Burnham hit centuries as title contenders England brushed aside Fiji by 299 runs.

Bangladesh, who elected to bat on a slow pitch at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium here, lost wickets just when the batsmen appeared to have settled down and were restricted to 240/7 in 50 overs. zmul Hossain hit 73 off 82 balls to boost the total after useful contributions from Pik Ghosh (43) and Joyraz Sheik (46).

The target proved too tough for South Africa, who were bowled out for 197 in the penultimate over despite a defiant 100 from opener Liam Smith. Smith batted till the 45th over before being the seventh batsman out, caught superbly in the covers by Bangladesh captain Mehidy Hasan.

Mehidy, leading his tion in the second successive U-19 World Cup, picked up 3/37 with his off-spin. Seamer Mohammad Saifuddin took 3/30. It was Bangladesh’s first win over South Africa in the tourment following four previous defeats, but Wednesday’s victory was their 12th in 15 matches against the same opponents over the past two years.

With Scotland and mibia the other sides in the group, the home team’s victory makes them the favourites to secure top place from Group A and avoid a possible quarter-fil clash against Rahul Dravid-coached India.

zmul Hossain, med man-of-the-match, said the slow wicket made their total challenging.

“The ball was not coming on to the bat, so we thought it was a good total. I just wanted to bat as long as possible and hold one end up. But I was still a bit disappointed that we could not get another 20-odd runs,” said zmul.

“We can’t afford to relax or lose focus. We have just put one game away but we must concentrate on the next match and then the next. In a tourment like this there is no room for comfort.” (IANS)

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