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10 February 201621:01

ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup Day 16 Preview

Full preview of all matches at U19 CWC Day 16 as Bangladesh and West Indies fight for a spot in the final, Nepal and Namibia seek to add to their success and Canada and Fiji eye their first win

ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup Day 16 Preview - Cricket News

If Bangladesh wins its first semifinal game at any level, it will possibly be its biggest cricketing moment after gaining Test status in 2000.

Bangladesh and the West Indies Under-19 teams face off in the ICC Under-19 World Cup 2016 semifinal at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur on Thursday (February 11), with a historic finals berth on offer.

If Bangladesh wins its first semifinal game at any level, it will possibly be its biggest cricketing moment after gaining Test status in 2000, and if the West Indies makes it to the final of the competition for the first time since 2004, also in Bangladesh, it will be a boost for the game in the Caribbean islands.

“I am very proud to be in the semifinal for the first time. It is not pressure. We are excited to give our best and be in the finals. We are really well prepared for this game,” Mehedi Hasan Miraz, Bangladesh’s captain said, even as he revealed that Naimur Rahman, the former Test captain, Mashrafe Mortaza and Mushfiqur Rahim have spoken to the team. “If we become too excited or emotional, we won’t be able to able to play our natural game.”

“If you look at the recent history in West Indies, what we as a group, as a team, are trying to do is to give something back to the people of the Caribbean who have been loyal over what’s been a difficult period,” said Graeme West, the West Indies coach.

“We recognise the significance of the game for the people of Bangladesh. We realise that we are not just taking on 11 players; we are taking on a nation. It’s a big occasion and it’s excellent; with the development of Bangladesh cricket over the last 10-15 years it has got to a point now when you clearly have some of the best Under-19 cricket players in the world,” he added. “We have to make sure that our players stay focused. We expect a big crowd, lot of our players will not be familiar with playing in front of big crowds, particularly a crowd that will not [want] us to be very successful. So, that’s an additional challenge going into the game tomorrow.”

Bangladesh has been clinical in all its wins so far. A patient approach worked well against South Africa, the defending champion, and the games against Namibia and Scotland were easy affairs. In a stiff quarterfinal clash against Nepal, Miraz and Zakir Hasan, the wicketkeeper, constructed a thrilling successful chase of 212 runs with an unbroken fifth-wicket pair of 117 in front of around 10,000 vociferous home fans.

Nazmul Hossain Shanto has been the standout batsman for Bangladesh with 208 runs, while the trio of Mohammad Saifuddin, Saleh Ahmed Shawon and Miraz has maturely led the bowling responsibilities. Saifuddin, in particular, was wonderful to watch against Nepal where he produced yorkers at will in the death overs.

Despite the success, Bangladesh knows its opening pair of Pinak Ghosh and Saif Hassan, who have a best stand of 30 runs, are yet to click, and that gives the West Indies an area to exploit through the threatening pace-bowling pair of Alzarri Joseph and Chemar Holder.

Even though the West Indies lost its bilateral series against Bangladesh in the early half of January, the manner in which it has peaked towards the business end of the tournament has been remarkable.

Yes, it was helped by the Mankading in a two-run win against Zimbabwe and the arrival of Holder as a replacement player just before the quarterfinal against Pakistan, but that doesn’t take away from the fighting spirit shown.

While the pacers have been sensational, Shimon Hetmyer, the captain playing in his second World Cup, made an intelligent half-century against Pakistan, as he negated the spinners and put his side on course for a five-wicket win.

While that was Hetmyer’s first significant knock in the competition, Shamar Springer, Gidron Pope and Keemo Paul have entertained with 100-plus strike-rates.

West said the win against Pakistan was a result of the team’s familiarity of the conditions. It had made the players aware of the expectations and boosted their confidence.

Miraz, meanwhile, was confident of his boys coming good again.

“We have the belief to turn around from any situation. We don’t think negatively,” he said. “I enjoy playing in the situation that we faced in the last game (against Nepal).”

No matter who makes it to the February 14 final against India, the positivity oozing out of both the camps could only be good for the future of Bangladesh and West Indies cricket.

Teams (from):

Mehedi Hassan Miraz (capt), Nazmul Hossain, Joyraj Sheik, Pinak Ghosh, Saif Hassan, Zakir Hasan (wk), Mohammad Saifuddin, Shafiul Hayat, Saeed Sarkar, Mehedi Hasan Rana, Abdul Halim, Saleh Ahmed, Ariful Islam, Jaker Ali, Mossabek Hossain Sun.

West Indies: Shimron Hetmyer (capt), Shahid Crooks, Keacy Carty, Michael Frew, Jyd Goolie, Tevin Imlach, Alzarri Joseph, Ryan John, Kirstan Kallicharan, Chemar Holder, Gidron Pope, Keemo Paul, Odean Smith, Shamar Springer, Emmanuel Stewart.

Seventh place play-off
Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium, Fatullah

Nepal and Namibia excelled by making it to the quarterfinals, where they lost to Bangladesh and India respectively.

Nepal then went down to Pakistan, while Namibia lost to England in the fifth-place play-off semifinals. The two teams are not done yet. When they meet at the Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium, they will be eyeing the 2018 Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand.

With the best Associate team from this tournament guaranteed an automatic entry to the 12th edition, there is a lot at stake.

With both the teams having recorded wins against Test nations – Nepal beat New Zealand and Namibia beat South Africa – there is little that separates the two.

Nepal: Raju Rijal (capt), Dipendra Airee, MD Sunil Dhamala, Himanshu Dutta, Sushil Kandel, Kushal Bhurtel, Yogendra Karki, Sandeep Lamichhane, Ishan Pandey, Shankar Rana, Prem Tamang, Arif Sheikh, Sandeep Sunar, Dipesh Shrestha, Rajbir Singh.

Namibia: Zane Green (capt), Petrus Burger, Charl Brits, Fritz Coetzee, Niko Davin, Sj Loftie-Eaton, Mushi Honga, Burton Jacobs, Lohan Louwrens, Jurgen Linde, Michael Van Lingen, Chrischen Oliver, Francios Rautenbach, Warren Van Wyk, Eben Van Wyk.

Canada U19 v Fiji U19, 15th-place play-off
Sheikh Kamal International Cricket Stadium Academy Ground, Cox’s Bazar

Two teams for whom victory has been evasive in the ICC Under-19 World Cup will finally have a chance to register their first triumph of what has been a long tournament. Canada and Fiji go head to head in the clash for the 15th spot in Cox’s Bazar on Thursday, knowing this is their last and most realistic chance to make the trip memorable.

Canada appears the more experienced side on paper. It claimed victory over Ireland Under-19 in the warm-ups, and a couple of individual displays have been cause for encouragement. As a team, however, it will want to prevent batting collapses and fielding mishaps, and sustain a consistent challenge.

Fiji, meanwhile, has had a tough maiden World Cup. It is encouraging that in recent outings, it finally found resolve and didn't make victory easy for its opponent. Against Scotland, Cakacaka Tikoisuva claimed a four-wicket haul to take his tournament tally to 12, while Puni Vuniwaqa scored a spirited 123-ball 80.

If Fiji can show more of the same spirit, it may well claim the 15th spot, and for the side, that would be a big takeaway.

Teams (from)
Abraash Khan (capt), Bhavindu Adhihetty, Thursaanth Anantharajah, Akash Gill, Abdul Haseeb, Wijayaraj, Suliman Khan, Arslan Khan, Mamik Luthra, Miraj Patel, Shlok Patel, Kurt Ramdath, Sarbot Sivia, Harsh Thaker, Amish Taploo, Prushoth.

Fiji: Saimoni Tuitoga (capt), Josaia Baleicikoibia, Malakai Cokovaki, Petero Cabebula, Jack Charters, Jordan Dunham, Vaibhav Kapadia, Delaimatuku Maraiwai, Ledua Qionivoka, Samuel Saunokonoko, Cakacaka Tikoisuva, Peni Vuniwaqa, Sosiceni Weleilakeba, Tuwai Yabaki.