Bangladesh Under-19s bade adieu to their English counterparts in emphatic fashion, sealing a fantastic three-wicket win on the final day of the second and final four-day match at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram yesterday.
Mahmudul Hasan, a BKSP student from Chandpur, was the main architect behind the win as the right-hander followed his 74-run first innings score with a stupendous hundred in the second innings to help the hosts reach the 333-run target with three wickets in hand. With this triumph, the young Tigers completed a clean sweep of England Under-19s tour of Bangladesh as the visitors also lost the solitary T20 match, three-match ODI series and the first youth Test on the nearly month-long tour.
Scoring 299 runs on the final day is no joke but patience and building partnerships is also key in making things happen in the longer version and in this regard, Bangladesh's players got full marks while Mahmudul in particular deserves a special accolade for his performance.
When pacer Adam Finch gave England the first breakthrough of the day by removing opener Tanzid Hasan, who scored 51 after resuming on 28, the visitors were on course to a consolation win. However, Mahmudul stood firm in the middle while brilliantly aided by Parvez Hossain and Towhid Hridoy before Shahadat Hossain's vital 25-ball 20 sealed victory.
The right-hander batted for five hours in each innings, a clear representation of how intent he was to keep batting. During his 301-minute stand in the first innings, Mahmudul faced 216 balls to score 74 runs, featuring four boundaries. In the second innings, he stayed on for 307 minutes to strike 114 runs off 224 balls, laced with 13 boundaries. When he was finally dismissed as the sixth batsman out, Bangladesh required only seven more runs.
After beginning the campaign with a 44-run knock in the lone T20, Mahmudul remained consistent throughout the series, hitting 33, 58 not out and 57 in the three one-dayers.
Back in yesterday's game, Mahmudul was first aptly supported by Parvez as they shared a 54-run third-wicket partnership to steady the ship before Towhid arrived in to share in a 142-run fourth-wicket stand. Towhid scored 76 off 145 balls, containing six fours and a six, while Parvez added 37 off 81 balls with three fours.
“The boys were really fantastic all through the series. What impressed me the most was the determination of the players for improvement. I think our whole top-order batting was fantastic but Mahmudul's patience and ability to play the ball according to the merit was outstanding. Now the challenge is to guide these boys properly so that they can be consistent in their performances,” said junior team selector Hasibul Hossain.
“They were confident about chasing down the total. Actually, these boys are very hungry for success. Mahmudul, who missed the first four-day match due to his SSC exam, was outstanding,” added team manager Sajal Chowdhury.
SCORES IN BRIEF
ENGLAND U-19s: First innings 337 and second innings 223 for 8 decl.
BANGLADESH U-19s: First innings 228 and second innings 333 for 7 (Tanzid 51, Parvez 37, Mahmudul 114, Towhid 76, Shahadat 20; Finch 2-60, Aldridge 2-79, Qadri 2-61)
Result: Bangladesh U-19s won by 3 wickets and clinched the 2-match series 2-0.
Player-of-the-match: Mahmudul Hasan.
Player-of-the-series: Minhazur Rahman.