South Africa Academy hold their nerve for tight win
South Africa Academy 237 for 8 (Zondo 79, Nazmul 2-33, Nasir 2-36) beat Bangladesh Cricket Board Academy 222 (Hom 84, Nasir 82, Maharaj 4-30, van Zyl 3-59) by 15 runs
South Africa Academy finally sustained their effort through the full course of a game to emerge deserving winners in a close encounter against BCB Academy in Bogra. The win was set up by a fine opening burst from opening bowler Keshav Maharaj who reduced the chase of 238 to shambles, picking four wickets in his first five overs. BCB were down and out when they lost their fifth wicket with the score on 20, but Shuvagoto Hom and Nasir Hussain had a script of their own. The pair struck classy 80s, and added 143 in 21 overs, taking little note of their side's precarious position. Hom went on the offensive, launching three sixes and seven fours in his 69-ball 84, while Nasir was relatively more patient.
Cobus Pienaar separated the pair just as threatened to go through with their back-door heist, getting rid of Hom. Nasir kept the fight going, with the tail but BCB had lost too many wickets in the opening exchanges. Wiann van Zyl kept his wits about him despite coming in for tap, taking three late wickets including the big scalp of Nazir's. BCB eventually folded 15 short, with 3.2 overs left.
South Africa's innings featured a number of threatening knocks that failed to go to the next level. The top three raised a solid base, despite taking their time, and at 140 for 3 in 37 overs, South Africa looked set to finish with a flourish. Khayelihle Zondo partially capitalized on the base, hitting an unbeaten 90-ball 73 to lead the late charge. Nasir and Nazmul Islam bowled tight spells to ensure that the innings never went into overdrive, picking two wickets apiece in their economical spells. Mangaliso Mosehle and van Zyl struck solid blows towards the end as South Africa reached 237. In hindsight, it proved enough, but only just and only thanks to Maharaj's fine return.