ICC U-19 World Cup: Bangladesh Beat Nepal By 5 Wickets

Bangladesh chased down Nepal's target of 170 in 25.2 overs, with five wickets in hand in Bloemfontein. They will next face Pakistan in a virtual knockout Super Six match of the ICC Under-19 Men's Cricket World Cup 2024

ICC Photo
Dipak Bohara of Nepal is bowled out by Sheikh Jibon of Bangladesh as Ashiqur Rahaman Shibli of Bangladesh looks on during the ICC U19 Men's Cricket World Cup South Africa 2024 Super Six match between Nepal and Bangladesh on January 31, 2024. ICC Photo

Former champions Bangladesh started their ICC Men's Under-19 Cricket World Cup 2024 Super Six campaign with a comfortable five-wicket win over Nepal at Mangaung Oval in Bloemfontein, South Africa on Wednesday. (More Cricket News)

Chasing Nepal's 169 all out in their Super Six, Group 1 opener, the 2020 champions reached the target in 25.2 overs. They face Pakistan in their final Super Six outing, and a win against their bitter rivals will put Mahfuzur Rahman Rabby & Co. in a very good position to qualify for the semi-finals.

For the uninitiated, the 15th edition of the U-19 Cricket World Cup started with 16 teams in the fray for 12 Super Six spots. The top three teams from each group progressed to the Super Six, where they were divided into two groups.

The 12 teams that made it to the Super Six are: India, Bangladesh and Ireland from Group A; Pakistan, New Zealand and Nepal from Group D; South Africa, West Indies and England from Group B; Australia, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe from Group C.

"The teams will play two matches in the Super Six stage against their opponents from the corresponding group who finished in a different position in their group," ICC explained the format. "That means India (toppers of Group A) will face off against New Zealand (second position in Group D), and Nepal (third position in Group D).

Bangladesh and Nepal are in Group 1 along with India, Ireland, New Zealand and Pakistan. Both India and Pakistan have won their respective Super Six openers, against New Zealand and Ireland.

Earlier in the day, Nepal U-19 captain Dev Khanal won the toss and opted to bat first. But the young 'Rhinos' found the going tough against the Bangladeshi bowling attack. Nepal's two top scorers, Bishal Bikram (48 off 100) and Khanal (35 off 60), played sedate knocks to stitch a 62-run partnership for the fourth wicket.

Bikram was also involved in a 42-ball 30-run stand with Gulshan Shah, who stunningly contributed only three runs. But with seven batters perishing for single-digit scores, Nepal could manage only 169. For Bangladesh, Rohanat Doullah Borson (4/19) and Sheikh Jibon (3/34) accounted for seven wickets between them. Borson was later adjudged the Player Of The Match for his lethal spell of pace bowling.

The chase got off to a flier -- 67 for the opening stand between Ashiqur Shibli (16 off 34) and Jishan Alam (55 off 43). Then Subash Bhandari struck five times for figures of 5/44, and yet Bangladesh reached the target with 148 balls to spare. Ariful Islam remained unbeaten on 59 off 38.

After the match, Khanal said Nepal were short by 50-60 runs, and lamented that a couple of guys didn't play to their potential. But the 18-year-old from Rupandehi was confident of finishing the campaign on a high. They face five-time champions and holders India on Friday.

Despite the big win, Bangladesh captain Mahfuzur Rahman Rabby said that they still need improvement, especially in the bowling department. They face two-time champions, Pakistan on Saturday in a virtual knock-out.

Other Results

Hosts South Africa humbled Zimbabwe by nine wickets in their Super Six, Group 2 clash at Senwes Park, Potchefstroom. Bowling first, the young Proteas dismiss Zimbabwe for 102 all out in 29.2 overs with Kwena Maphaka claiming yet another five-wicket haul (5/34).

Then, an 86-run opening stand between Lhuan-dre Pretorius (54 not out off 39) and Steve Stolk (37 off 29) all but ended Zimbabwe's hopes for an improbable fightback. David Teeger, the original captain of the South African team, was unbeaten on 10 off 14.

In another Group 2 clash, three-time champions Australia dismissed England for 104 all out in 16.5 overs for a 110-run win. Asked to bat first, Aussies rode skipper Hugh Weibgen's 120 off 126 to post 66/6 in a rain-affected match. The target then became 215 in 24 years, and England were shot out for 104 in 15.5 overs.

The remaining Group 2 fixtures: Australia vs West Indies, South Africa vs Sri Lanka on Friday; England vs Zimbabwe on Saturday.

At Benoni's Willowmoore Park, Afghanistan pulled off a final-over win over the United States in their 16th-place play-off. Chasing a 149-run target, the Afghan colts reached the target in 49.3 overs, with Arab Gul Momand hitting Khush Bhalala for a six for the winning runs.