Defending champions knocked out as India set up semi-final clash against Australia
India 117 for 5 (Raghuvanshi 44, Rasheed 26, Dhull 20*, Mondol 4-31) beat Bangladesh 111 all out (Meherob 30, Ravi 3-14, Ostwal 2-25) by five wickets
Bangladesh’s hopes of defending their U-19 World Cup title ended in the quarter-final stage as India’s bowlers rolled them over for 111.
Although India had a brief hiccup in the chase, they eventually got home with five wickets in hand.
The returning Yash Dhull opted to field on a surface where the Afghanistan-Sri Lanka quarter-final had produced only 264 runs across both innings, and Ravi found swing and rattled Bangladesh with his 3 for 14 up top. He first broke through Mahfijul Islam’s defense before Iftakher Hossain cut a wide ball to backward point. Then, soon enough, Prantik Nawrose Nabil was walking back after edging an attempted drive that was going across him.
From the other end, Rajvardhan Hangargekar troubled Bangladesh with his pace, his yorkers, and a mean short ball. Together, Ravi and Hangargekar strangled the run flow, aided by sharp fielding inside the circle.
Left-arm spinner Ostwal then found grip off the surface and was rewarded when he had Ariful Islam nicking. Then he clean bowled Md Fahim as he attempted a reverse sweep. Aich Mollah, the No. 4, batted patiently for 47 balls to make 13 before he was run out. At this point, Bangladesh were tottering at 56 for 7.
Meherob, the No. 8, offered a brief resistance by putting on a 50-run partnership with Ashiqur Zaman (16) to drag Bangladesh’s score into triple digits. But both fell in one over and Hangargekar then finished off the innings with a short ball.
The longer they batted, the more Bangladesh erred, with boundaries a common fixture in the second half of their 70-run partnership. Raghuvanshi whipped boundaries off his hips, Rasheed played in the ‘V’, and both put away half-trackers offered by the spinners.
Their stand effectively quashed whatever little hope Bangladesh had despite both falling in quick succession. Mondol returned to take three more wickets to finish with 4 for 31, but it was too little too late for the defending champions.
Dhull, back into the XI after a Covid-enforced break (along with vice-captain Rasheed), remained unbeaten on 26 along with Kaushal Tambe (11*) as they he saw off what could’ve been a tricky final period of play. The match was sealed when Tambe hit a six over long-on.
India now face Australia in the second semi-final on February 2. The first semi-final is on February 1 between England and Afghanistan.
Sreshth Shah is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. @sreshthx