Bishnoi’s heroics in vain as Bangladesh beat India to clinch maiden U19 World Cup title
Shesh kore asho! (Finish it boys!), Richard Stoinier’s heavily accented Bengali could have been forgiven for all the nerve-racking emotions that his team was going through against India in the U-19 World Cup final here. In a tense dugout, Bangladesh’s strength and conditioning coach from England seemed to be the most animated one. Stoinier had every reason to be so. In a match that had every element of a great humdinger, Bangladesh, chasing 178, were left with just three wickets and captain Akbar Ali the only batsman of some repute when they needed 35 more to topple defending champions and four time-winners India.
Ali traded with caution. He kept the strike and talked with Rakibul Hasan at the other end after every ball. They were so close to history and yet the title clash had seen so many streaks of their senior team, of that of losing steam right at the moment when things tend to go their way. But Sunday was different. Ali and Hasan took Bangladesh to 163/7 with 15 needed off 54 balls when rain halted play.
When play resumed, the target was reset at seven off 30 balls. Ali and Hasan completed the job without any further hiccup as Bangladesh became the seventh nation to win the U-19 World Cup.
“It was a great experience. We are world champions now. I am feeling really good. It was a tough chase, and we had to work really hard. (This feels) just so good,” Parvez Hossain Emon, the top-scorer for Bangladesh in the final with a 79-ball 47, said after the triumph.
But to earn the tag of world champions, Bangladesh had to pass several tough tests. They did one part of the job right by dismissing India for a paltry score of 177 in 47.2 overs, after Bangladesh seamers wreaked havoc. But the task was far from complete.
Chasing such a low score, Bangladesh were given the perfect start as openers Emon and Tanzid Hasan took them to 50 inside nine overs. With a wayward line by the Indian bowlers on the offing, the duo made merry and Bangladesh raced towards the target.
Just when it seemed to be a walk in the park for Bangladesh, leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi weaved his magic. The lanky boy from Rajasthan first got the prized wicket of Hasan with a googly as the opener was caught in the deep by Kartik Tyagi at mid-wicket. Bangladesh were 50/1 then.
It was yet another googly from Bishnoi in the 13th over that castled Bangladesh’s top-scorer in this tournament Mahmudul Hasan Joy. In his very next over, he trapped Towhid Hridoy with a wrong’un as Bnagladesh were duced to 62/3. They were staring at a collapse and Bishnoi further ensured that as he had Shahadat Hossain stumped. In his first five overs, Bishnoi had taken 4/12 and India were firmly back in the match.
Left-arm pacer Sushant Mishra further made things worse for Bangladesh with the wickets of Shamim Hossain and Avishek Das, as India were suddenly on top.
With his team reeling at 102/6, Emon came back to bat after having left the field due to a cramp. He joined forces with skipper Ali and the two showed maturity in tackling the on fire Indian bowlers. Emon particularly was the more elegant with his cover drives as he kept his cool despite a lot of chatting by the Indian bowlers, including Bishnoi, and the close in fielders.
India’s cause was hurt further with a display of indisciplined bowling that gave away 19 runs in wides and two in no balls. Eight runs came through byes while four more came through leg byes.
The defending champions paid for all their mistakes as Bangladesh slowly but steadily approached the target.
With the Bangladesh batsmen dealing with pace with ease, India captain Priyam Garg introduced part-time leg-spinner Yashasvi Jaiswal in the 30th over. And he struck in his second over as he forced a drive from Emon, who was caught by Akash Singh at extra cover.
India were again sniffing at an opportunity but Ali played a captain’s knock to ensure a famous victory.
After the win emotions got the better of the players from both sides as they could be seen arguing with each other. Soon there seemed to be a scuffle. But India coach Paras Mhambrey cooled down the scene.
But much before all that it was the Bangladesh seamers—Avishek Das (3/40), Shoriful Islam (2/31) and Tanzim Hasan Sakib (2/28)—who broke India’s back.
A disciplined line fromBangladesh had India all tied up in the first six overs as only eight runs were scored by the opening duo of Jaiswal and Divyaansh Saxena. One-change bowler Das got the first breakthrough as his full delivery outside off was sliced by Saxena, only to be caught by Mahmudul Hasan Joy at backward point.
That brought Tilak Varma into the crease and along with Jaiswal, they looked like steadying the ship. From a run-rate of 1.28 in the first six overs, the duo took it to 3.39 by the 28th over. However, it was a seamer again who broke the second-wicket stand seven runs short off its 100-mark. Varma went for a cut against Sakib’s short delivery in the 29th over and was caught by Islam at deep backward point. India captain Priyam Garg followed soon.
Man of the tournament Jaiswal, meanwhile, stayed steady at the other end and took his tally in the tournament to 400 runs. He fell to Islam in the 40th over as he failed to negotiate a short delivery and his half-hearted pull was caught by Tanzid Hasan at short mid-wicket. Siddhesh Veer, known for his hitting prowess, followed Jaiswal off the very next ball as India looked dodgy at 156/5.
What followed was hara-kiri, starting with the run out of set batsman and vice-captain Dhruv Jurel who had a big mix-up with Atharva Ankolekar and both ended up at the same end of the pitch. The former was short of the crease and was given out.
That dismissal exposed India’s lower middle-order, which was short on practice, with good eight overs left. Das and Sakib had little difficulty in moping up the remaining batsmen as Bangladesh stopped India at 177 in 47.2 overs.
“Even with such a low total, we made it difficult for them, and I would like to thank my team for that. The biggest factor was the toss as the wicket was a bit damp. We had a good start, and we should have got to at least 210-220. That would have been a much better score. I don’t think we could have done much different (in bowling). For 178, we responded really well, and we lost this because we didn’t bat well enough. That’s about it. We enjoyed the World Cup. We played a series here too, and it was enjoyable too,” India captain Priyam Garg said.