Windies U19 trounce Bangladesh to set up final clash against India

Mirpur, Feb.11 (ANI): The West Indies broke Bangladeshi hearts with a thrilling three-wicket win over the host in Mirpur on Thursday to set up the title clash with India in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup.

Shamar Springer followed his two for 36 with an unbeaten 62, which steered the West Indies past Bangladesh’s 226 all out with eight balls to spare in front of thousands of dejected home fans.

The West Indies, which had also reached the final when the tournament was staged in Bangladesh in 2004, will meet an undefeated India for the title in Mirpur on Sunday, 14 February.

This will be the first-ever final between the two sides at the age-group level.

Bangladesh skipper Mehidy Hasan top-scored with 60, reviving the innings with a 85-run stand for the sixth wicket with Mohammad Saifuddin (36), after half the side had been dismissed for 113 runs.

The West Indies lost wickets regularly to keep Bangladesh in the hunt till Springer built on skipper Shimron Hetmyer’s half-century to record a memorable victory.

Bangladesh, electing to bat on a misty morning, lost openers Pinak Ghosh and Saif Hassan by the seventh over to make it 27 for two. It then slipped to 88 for four after star batsman Nazmul Hossain was dismissed for 11 and Joyraz Sheik fell for 35.

Mehidy hit seven boundaries in Saifuddin’s company before both the batsmen fell off successive deliveries by seamer Keemo Paul.

Mosabbek Hossain denied the bowler a hat-trick, but Paul finished with impressive figures of three for 20 from just three overs. Springer and Chemar Holder took two wickets apiece.

Gidron Pope provided the West Indies a swashbuckling start by taking 14 of the first over bowled by Mehidy before racing to 38 off 25 balls, which included five fours and a six.

Hetmyer took 16 deliveries to get off the mark before making a 59-ball 60 to lift his team to 147 for three in the 28th over.

West Indies moved to 177 for four, needing just 50 more runs in 13 overs, when left-arm spinner Saleh Ahmed turned the game around with two wickets in the 38th over.

Springer kept his end up and punished the loose balls before ending the match with two consecutive boundaries through the covers off Saifuddin.

“It’s a great feeling and an even better feeling to be in the final, a dream come true,” said Springer. “It was quite a challenge out there, but I just backed myself to do well.”

Added Hetmyer: “Credit to the bowlers for not allowing Bangladesh to run up a big score. It was a good wicket to bat on, but we did well to keep them down to 226.

“We are very excited about playing India in the final. It will be a very good contest.” (ANI)

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