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13 February 201617:39

​Jaker Ali steers chase as Bangladesh claims third place

Batsman comes back after retiring hurt as home team wins by three wickets with three balls to spare against Sri Lanka U19

Jaker Ali returned after having retired hurt midway through his innings to guide Bangladesh Under-19 to a thrilling three-wicket win over Sri Lanka Under-19 in the third-place playoff match at the ICC Under-19 World Cup 2016. Bangladesh won by three wickets in 49.3 overs to finish third, leading to exuberant celebrations from the home team at the Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium in Fatullah on Saturday (February 13).

The victory was earned after a riveting contest between two sides of equal calibre. After choosing to bat, Sri Lanka posted 214 in 48.5 overs, Charith Asalanka leading the way with a captain’s knock of 76 from 99 balls to counter the brilliant Mehedi Hasan Miraz, who returned 3 for 28 in ten overs.

Bangladesh’s chase was propelled by an 88-run stand between Nazmul Hossain Shanto (40) and Miraz, who scored a 66-ball 53 for his fourth successive half-century, before Jaker returned, having retired hurt earlier, to guide the team home in a nail-biting climax.

Sri Lanka got its innings off to a flier, with Kamindu Mendis and Salindu Ushan putting on 60 for the opening wicket. However, Miraz had the breakthrough in his second over when Ushan (34) came down the track and was beaten by the turn. In his next over, Miraz had Mendis (26) trapped in front and he followed that up with Avishka Fernando’s scalp. After a good start, Sri Lanka was suddenly 70 for 3.

Asalanka then took charge and built mini partnerships with the middle order. He put on 39 with Shammu Ashan (27) for the fourth wicket and 22 with Vishad Randika (10) for the fifth, before pegging Bangladesh further back with a 55-run stand with Wanidu Hasaranga (30).

However, the home side bowlers struck back. Both Jehan Daniel and Damitha Silva were dismissed for nought, even as Asalanka did all he could at the other end – including a hammered six off Miraz – to boost the total. He holed out to Abdul Halim eventually, but his defiance had helped Sri Lanka post a tricky target.

Bangladesh got off to a poor start as Zakir Hasan was bowled by Fernando in the third ball of the innings. Jaker then put away a couple of boundaries to steady the ship, but was then on the floor clutching his calf before being stretchered off. Joyraz Sheik (26) soon fell cheaply to Damitha Silva, and Bangladesh was 59 for 2.

However, Nazmul and Miraz joined forces to rebuild the innings. Miraz put away the boundaries even as Nazmul worked the gaps. Bangladesh had claimed control of the innings when both were run out in quick succession, leaving the side precariously placed at 155 for 4.

Shafiul Hayet and Mohammad Saifuddin then steadied things with a nervy 27-run stand for the fifth wicket. The partnership was broken when Hayet holed out off Ashan, but Saifuddin added a further 18 with Mosabbek Hossain before the latter’s attempt at muscling one over the fence off Ashan ended up with mid-off.

It was then that Jaker returned with his team in a desperate situation. There was another wicket – Saifuddin was run out for a 28-ball 19 – but Jaker stayed calm throughout to score the winning runs and end unbeaten on a 45-ball 31.

The third-place finished ensured that Bangladesh’s promising campaign ended on a high

Please click here to review the match in full in the ICC Match Centre