The 2nd semi-final of the Under-19s Asia Cup 2019 will be played between Afghanistan Under-19s and Bangladesh Under-19s at the Tyronne Fernando Stadium in Moratuwa.
The match starts at 9:30 AM local time (4:00 AM GMT) (9:30 AM IST).
Afghanistan continues to make great strides at the Under-19 level as they have repeatedly embarrassed Pakistan by bowling out them for less than 80 runs three times in four meetings since 2017. The 85-run win in the tournament confirmed their semi-final berth. They followed it with a comfortable win over Kuwait but lost to India narrowly after they picked 7 wickets while defending 124.
Their opponents in this knockout match will be Bangladesh Under-19s who finished as Group B toppers with an easy win against Sri Lanka on Tuesday. However, it will be Afghanistan who will be riding high on confidence after a valiant effort against India. The Afghans lead the head to head record in Youth ODIs against Bangladesh 3-2 as they won three straight matches in 2017 to seal a bilateral series.
Showers are expected throughout the matchday in Moratuwa. In fact, there will be a thunderstorm on Thursday. This means the chances of a full 50 over match are non-existent. If the rain doesn’t permit even a 20 overs per side match, the Bangladesh team will join one of India or Sri Lanka in the final.
All the three matches at the Tyronne Fernando Stadium in this tournament have witnessed 270+ totals by batting first team. The pitch for the semi-final will be a similar one or an even better one for batting. However, a mediocre batting line-up and an impressive bowling attack of the Afghans could keep the totals under 200.
Average first innings score: 268 (Youth ODI matches since 2016)
Record of chasing teams: Won – 2, Lost – 4
(Will be added when there is an update)
Probable Playing XIs:
Mohammad Ishaq (WK), Rahmanullah, Asif Musazai, Farhan Zakhil (C), Nangeyalia kharote, Sediqullah Atal, Jamshid Khan, Shafiqullah Ghafari, Jandu Hamoud, Abidullah Taniwal, Noor Ahmad, Fazal Haq
Bench – Nangyal Khan, Samiullah, Abdul Rahman, Abdullah Naib, Ahmad Zahir, Islam Zazai.
Tanzid Hasan, Towhid Hridoy, Parvez Hossain Emon, Mahmudul Hasan Joy, Shamim Hossain, Shahadat Hossain, Akbar Ali (C), Rakibul Hasan, Mrittunjoy Chowdhury, Shoriful Islam, Tanzim Hasan Sakib.
Bench – Shahin Alam, Anik Sarker Shatu, Minhazur Rahman, Ashraful Islam.
Mahmudul Hasan Joy is the 2nd highest run-getter in this tournament with 193 runs including a 126-run knock against Sri Lanka in the last match. Towhid Hridoy is one of the three players with two 50+ scores in the Group stage. Chinaman spinner Noor Ahmad continues to hold the key for the Afghanistan team.
Captain and Vice-Captain Selection:
Captain – Shafiqullah Ghafari, Towhid Hridoy, Mahmudul Hasan Joy, Shamim Hossain
Vice-Captain – Noor Ahmad, Akbar Ali, Farhan Zakhil, Rahmanullah
Shafiqullah Ghafari will be looking to contribute in this big match with the bat. He is already one of the three bowlers to have taken 8 wickets in the group stage.
Suggested Playing XI No.1 for Fantasy Cricket:
Keeper – Akbar Ali
Batters – Rahmanullah, Farhan Zakhil, Mahmudul Hasan Joy
All-Rounders – Shamim Hossain (VC), Towhid Hridoy, Shafiqullah Ghafari (C)
Bowlers – Abidullah Taniwal, Noor Ahmad, Rakibul Hasan, Tanzim Hasan Sakib
Suggested Playing XI No.2 for Fantasy Cricket:
Keeper – Mohammad Ishaq
Batters – Asif Musazai, Tanzid Hasan, Mahmudul Hasan Joy
All-Rounders – Shamim Hossain, Shafiqullah Ghafari (VC), Towhid Hridoy (C)
Bowlers – Rakibul Hasan, Mrittunjoy Chowdhury, Noor Ahmad, Fazal Haq
It has to be seen how Afghanistan would perform on what is expected to be a high-scoring match. In all the three matches they played, no team has got to the 200-run mark. If their bowling attack produces something special, it would be tough to see the two teams aggregating even 300 runs.
Afghanistan Under-19s have enough strengths to defeat Bangladesh Under-19s.
*Disclaimer: This team is based on the understanding, analysis and instinct of the author. While selecting your team, consider the points mentioned and make your own decision.
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