Georgetown [Guyana], January 12 (ANI): Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan all recorded impressive victories as the warm-up matches for the 2022 ICC Under-19 Men's Cricket World Cup continued on Tuesday with the tournament just around the corner.
India chased down 269 to triumph over Australia, Pakistan eased past Canada, while Bangladesh impressed against Zimbabwe. Elsewhere, after England's warm-up match with Afghanistan was postponed, the Young Lions faced UAE in St Kitts. The ICC U19 Men's CWC starts on Friday, with all teams now entering the final stages of preparation.
The two most successful teams in the history of the tournament took the field against each other on Tuesday in Guyana, ahead of the finals beginning later this week. And it was India who got a confidence boost going into their opener with South Africa on Saturday, taking a nine-wicket win over the Aussies.
Australia won the toss and were able to post 268 runs, with 18-year-old captain Cooper Connolly taking centre stage. The all-rounder made a wonderful century which included 18 boundaries at a strike rate of 93.60, which only finally ended after an excellent delivery from Raj Bawa in the 46th over.
The other end was less fruitful for the Aussies, but Tobias Snell also impressed (35 from 35) to help his team towards their final total. India's response was sublime, Hanooor Singh led the way with a century which included 16 fours, supported by Shaik Rasheed's 72. Both players unfortunately retired hurt, but captain Yash Dull was able to lead his team comfortably over the line, with 15 deliveries in reserve.
In another match, after winning the toss and electing to bat, Bangladesh posted a decent total of 277, particularly after a tricky start when opener Iftakher Hossain edged to slip in the third over departing for just 1. But Aich Mollah got his side back on track, making 82 from 82 deliveries with three sixes along the way.
Wicketkeeper Md Fahim also chipped in with a timely 33, before captain Rakibul Hasan went after the Zimbabwe attack, hitting 36 before being run-out. Tailender Ripon Mondol then managed a quickfire 39 from 26 balls to take the 2020 champions up to their final total.
Zimbabwe's reply didn't start on solid ground when opener Panashe Taruvinga went for a duck. The next man in Steven Saul, launched a counter-attack, scoring 39 from 45 deliveries, but once he outside edged to Fahim his team were facing an uphill task. They were eventually bowled out for 110 runs.
Elsewhere, England produced a middle-order rally to beat UAE in an exciting finish by two wickets. Batting first, the UAE posted a credible 191-9 in their innings, even with losing openers Kai Smith for a duck and Shival Bawa for just eight runs. However, Dhruv Parashar and captain Alishan Sharafu hit a combined 62 to keep Emiratis in the contest. Josh Boyden was the pick of England's bowlers with figures of 5-42.
But Sharafu's team refused to go quietly, with tailenders Adihya Shetty and Jash Giyanani scoring 21 and 15 respectively. Set 192 to win, England's response got off to a bad start when George Thomas was bowled by Sharafu with the first ball of the innings. Lancashire rookie George Bell then took centre stage to steer England back on track. Arriving at the crease with his team 23-3, Bell produced a wonderful 75 not out from 120 balls.
Assisted by James Sales (29) and Tom Aspinwall (33) the 19-year-old helped his team secure a narrow two-wicket win ahead of their next warm-up game against Papua New Guinea on Wednesday.
Pakistan put an impress display against Canada as they build up to their Group C opener against Papua New Guinea on Saturday. The men in Green won the toss and put the Canadians into bat in Conaree and quickly reduced them to 31-4. Ethan Gibson offered some resistance with a stubborn 55, but Mihir Patel's team were eventually bowled out for 164.
Pakistan's response started poorly when Haseebullah departed for just 3, but his opening partner Mohammad Shehzad scored 67. He was joined at the crease by Abdul Faseeh whi hit 72 unbeaten, to help his team to an eight-wicket victory.
Canada start their tournament against UAE on Saturday in St Kitts and Nevis. (ANI)