U19 men’s World Cup: Australia survive Namibia scare; Bangladesh battle to first win

Australia were given a scare by Namibia in a low-scoring affair in Kimberley while Shihab James impressed again as Bangladesh overcame Ireland in Bloemfontein in the ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup 2024.

Australia were given a scare by Namibia in a low-scoring affair in Kimberley while Shihab James impressed again as Bangladesh overcame Ireland in Bloemfontein in the ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup 2024.

Australian captain Hugh Weibgen was put to work on his first day at the ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup 2024 as he was required to produce a fighting knock in trying circumstances in the run-chase to give his side a first win in the tournament.

Namibia’s admirable fightback with the ball after an ordinary batting display put the brakes on Australia’s cruise before Weibgen stepped up to calm the storm with a solid innings.

Advertisement

In Bloemfontein, meanwhile, Bangladesh’s batters put together a promising performance. Ireland had put up 235/8 courtesy of a composed 113-ball 90 from Kian Hilton, despite limited help from the others.

In reply, however, a 90-run opening partnership between Ashiqur Rahman Shibli and Adil Bin Siddik, and an unbeaten century stand between Ahrar Amin and Mohammad Shihab James helped the young Tigers home.

Kimberely witnessed special scenes as Namibia, who appeared down and out after the first innings of the game, came roaring back with the ball to induce panic in the Australian camp.

Led by skipper Weibgen, Australia eventually managed to overhaul the target, but it’s unlikely to be considered a convincing victory, despite the exemplary bowling display.

On the bowling front, Australia’s all-pace attack had proved too good for Namibia as the fast bowlers shared 10 wickets between them in 33.1 overs to bowl Namibia out for 91.

Opting to bowl first, Australia had Namibia on the ropes with two wickets inside the first six overs courtesy of Callum Vidler.

Vidler sent back Johannes de Villiers and wicketkeeper Johannes Visagie in back-to-back overs. Namibia’s middle-order was further exposed when Tom Straker dismissed a resilient Gerhard Rensburg, who faced 32 balls for two runs.

Zacheo van Vuuren and Alexander Volschenk made valuable twenties, but before either could carry on for Namibia, Australia struck with further blows.

Van Vuuren was sent back by Straker for 29, and the seamer went on to dismiss Ryan Moffett in the next, as Namibia lost half their side for under 50.

Mahli Beardman joined the fast bowling party with a wicket in the next over before Henry van Wyk offered Volschenk some company.

The duo arrested the slide and resisted for a bit, but Vidler once again proved to be too good for them –- he returned to end van Wyk’s 26-ball vigil for seven.

Volschenk struck a few lusty blows, but it didn’t take long for Australia to wipe out the tail, Namibia being bowled out for 91.

It was more of the same in the second innings. Jack Brassell and Hanro Badenhorst led Namibia’s impressive fightback with the ball, sharing five wickets between them to reduce Australia to 57/5 inside the first 13 overs. But ultimately, they just didn’t have enough runs on board to push the Aussies further.

Weibgen stood tall amid the other batters with a captain’s knock, remaining unbeaten on 39 off 43. With some help from Raf MacMillan, Weibgen ensured his team crossed the line and began their campaign with an all-important win.

Bangladesh beat Ireland

Kian Hilton’s 90 laid the platform for Ireland’s solid batting display in Bloemfontein after Bangladesh chose to bowl after winning the toss, but his valiant single-handed effort was overcome by a team effort from the Tigers, where four batters crossed the 30-run mark.

Maruf Mridha, who had picked up a five-wicket haul against India, was once again in the thick of the action early with the ball, snaring Ryan Hunter early while Sheikh Paevez Jibon dismissed Gavin Roulston for five.

No.4 batter Hilton walked in with the team in a spot of bother at 45/2 and held up his end steadily. While Bangladesh struck with two big wickets in the middle overs, Hilton found an able company in Scott Macbeth.

Macbeth and Hilton stitched together an 81-run stand that posed a major threat to Bangladesh. Between overs 25 and 35, the pair managed to hit seven boundaries as the partnership frustrated the fielding side.

Ireland were heading to what would have been a strong total when skipper Mahfuzur Rahman Rabby struck with the vital wicket of Macbeth to break the stand.

John McNally made a 24-ball 23 while Hilton carried on with his calculated approach as Ireland prepared for a late onslaught.

That never quite materialised, however, with Mridha and Rohanat Doullah Borson, who had taken a hat-trick in the warm-up games, taking a wicket apiece.

Ireland finished on 235/8, making 61 runs in the last 10 overs. The impressive Hilton fell just 10 runs short of what would have been an impressive century.

In response, a solid 90-run opening stand between Ashiqur Rahman Shibli and Adil Bin Siddik gave Bangladesh a strong foothold in a run-chase of 236. Ireland fought back, taking four wickets in the space of eight overs to add some jeopardy as the chase progressed.

At 130/4, Ireland seemed to be clawing their way back into the game, but any hope for a win was thwarted by a strong stand between Ahrar Amin and Mohammad Shihab James. The duo put on a century stand to ease Bangladesh to a win.

While Amin made an unbeaten 45, Shihab James, who had made a half-century against India in the previous game, struck another fifty (55*).

 (IANS)