January 25, 2000

Bangladesh too strong for Ireland

Errol Seneviratne

Bangladesh convincingly beat Ireland by 67 runs in the Under-19 World Cup Plate Championship semi-final at Kurunegala on Tuesday.

Winning the toss, Bangladesh found the accurate Irish bowling difficult to cope with. They were soon in trouble. Having collapsed to 117-7 in 29 overs they were then rescued by a spirited innings from M. Kalim. His 58 in 86 balls allowing them to post respectable 196 in 48.5 overs. The other batsman to contribute was Naidu Haq (32) and M. Kabir (23).

Speaking to CRICINO after the innings the Bangladesh manager was confident that 196 would be enough before going on to say, ``a win here is important to us. The future of Bangladesh cricket is with these lads. We are striving to be admitted as a full member of the ICC. Our performances here will hopefully help our cause.

``Our cricket infrastructure in Bangladesh is good and we have the support of thousands of fans. With the former South Africa Test cricketer, Eddie Barlow, as Director of Coaching, our country has made great strides towards becoming the next Test playing nation.''

Ireland, who was bowled out for 129 in 43.4 overs, never looked like getting near the Bangladesh total. B.R. Das (4 for 19) and S. Alam (2 for 28) bowled particularly well for Bangladesh.

Ireland started their innings disastrously, losing 2 wickets for just 6 runs. A stubborn partnership of 49 between Armstrong (21) and O?Brien (36) was the backbone of the innings. A. White also batted well for his 22.