Australia v Bangladesh, U-19 World Cup quarter-final

Bangladesh capable of beating any team - Anamul

George Binoy in Townsville

August 18, 2012

Comments: 90 | Text size: A | A

Anamul Haque plays a shot towards the leg-side, South Africa v Bangladesh, Group D, ICC Under-19 World Cup 2012, Brisbane, August 12, 2012
Against Australia, the responsibility of steering Bangladesh to a competitive total, or controlling a chase, will rest largely on Anamul Haque © ICC/Getty
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That Bangladesh have made it through to the quarterfinals of the Under-19 World Cup by finishing second in Group D may surprise most people, but it hasn't surprised them. They are a competitive team at this level and neither the captain Anamul Haque nor coach Sarwar Imran considered beating Sri Lanka to book their places in Townsville, where they will face Australia on Sunday, to be an upset.

"We are a capable Under-19 team," said Anamul after arriving in Townsville on Friday afternoon. "At Under-19 level, we aren't very different from other teams. We're equal. We beat Sri Lanka, it's not a big deal. We are capable of beating any other team."

Bangladesh were pooled in perhaps the toughest group of the tournament along with South Africa, Sri Lanka and Namibia. They played four warm-up matches in the lead-up to the group games and had positive results. Led by Anamul's century, Bangladesh beat Sri Lanka in the first group match but lost comprehensively to South Africa. They then swept past Namibia to book their tickets out of Brisbane and relegated Sri Lanka to the Plate Championship.

They've got to Townsville by overcoming ongoing challenges both on and off the field. It hasn't been uncommon to see players carrying bags of groceries to their rooms during this tournament and that's largely due to the difficulty they've had in eating the unfamiliar breakfast of scrambled eggs and toast. For all but one - Noor Hossain - of the Bangladesh players, this is their first trip to Australia and they took a while to adjust to the cold weather in Brisbane, the food, having to cook meals and do their own laundry. These may sound like menial concerns but every bit of discomfort is accentuated when you're in the environment of a global tournament for the first time. Some of them still haven't adjusted entirely, said the coach Imran, but they're getting there.

The higher hurdle has been the cricket and to their credit the Bangladesh players haven't let their off-field issues affect their performances too much. They knew the conditions in Brisbane, a world away from those in Mirpur, Chittagong and Fatullah, would demand that they adapt techniques and approaches.

"I'm happy we've reached the quarterfinal. The wickets we've played on, it hasn't suited us," Imran said. "The bounce is more in Brisbane; we don't have the kind of pace bowlers [to exploit it]. We aren't as good as the others as a pace bowling team. Some of the pitches had no turn, it was easy to go on the back foot even to good length balls [against spinners]. Here [Townsville] it is hot, and that might help us."

The Bangladesh batsmen were instructed too, to temper the approach they use at home. "On a subcontinent wicket, we go for power play in the first 15 overs, but in this tournament I said you play 50 overs," Imran said. "We told them to leave the ball early, when it is swinging. You keep wickets in hand as much as possible and go for it in the last ten overs. They did that against Sri Lanka."

Apart from the game against South Africa, a couple of top-order batsmen have performed. Anamul made a hundred against Sri Lanka, while Asif Ahmed scored a half-century, and the opener Liton Das made 70 against Namibia. Imran said Anamul, Das and Soumya Sarkar, who made a double-century against Qatar in the Asia Cup, could play the short ball well. But Sarkar, in his opinion, has a penchant for playing one shot too many, and hasn't performed in the group stages.

Anamul holds his team to high standards. According to him, Bangladesh were better than they had been. "Not too happy with batting, two or three batsman are scoring, but not everyone," he said. "I'm not fully happy with spinners, they try hard but are not yet up to the mark. Everyone can improve."

Against Australia, however, the responsibility of steering Bangladesh to a competitive total, or controlling a chase, will rest largely on Anamul. He is their most experienced batsman, having been part of the senior team during the Asia Cup and the tour of Zimbabwe, although he did not play. He's also had the experience of playing international bowlers in the Bangladesh Premier League, where he plays for Dhaka Gladiators.

"I am very positive, I go for big runs, I like to play long innings," Anamul says when asked how he approaches his innings. "I'm very confident and have a strong mind."

Stuart Law, who coached Bangladesh before taking up his present role with Australia's Under-19 side, knows Anamul and said he'd been one of his favourite players. "He's wonderfully talented, he made a big impression during the Bangladesh Premier League last year," Law said. "He's one to watch. He got a hundred in the first game against Sri Lanka, so he's definitely a player of class."

That compliment, however, will mean Australia's bowlers - and there are four fast ones - will go hard at Anamul, looking to strike the body blow early in the contest. Bangladesh have had one day to come to terms with Townsville, while Australia played all their group matches here, as well as a quadrangular series in April. If Bangladesh should get past Australia, it will most certainly be an upset.

George Binoy is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (August 21, 2012, 17:35 GMT)

@ TO SOME INDIAN FANS ( NOT ALL) : Stop commenting foolishly. Just oil in your own machine. How u forget, u were all out against the non test playing country PNG, all out in only 167 against W indies, even u lost 9 wickets & very luckily got over Pakistan just to score only 135 runs. Whereas Bangladesh has to face the strong pace attacks in bouncy pitches against the top teams like South Africa, Australia, England, Sri Lanka and BD fought strongly against all these strong teams, except South Africa, moreover had beaten the strong Sri Lanka! And the batting performance of BD is better than all other South Asian teams, just check the scores. What else would u expect from BD being the bottom ranked team? Im happy that BD is maintaining the fighting even they are loosing and hope that they will develop 2/3 finishers in both batting & bowling, then they will be in the top very soon. So u the haters of BD cricket, try to come into the sporting spirit and its a game of cricket, guys!

Posted by Deadwood on (August 21, 2012, 16:28 GMT)

I guess you need bought luck and the ability to win the world cup. Bought are important like South Africa they are one of the best teams of the world in my opinion the best in 2011, they had chance of winning in bought 2007 and 2011 but they failed to get to the finals, also in this u-19 world cup they had to face the best team of tournament in the semis so i think luck is important but you need the ability to. @dicky_boy, Bd is better than Kenya just because they went in the semi-finals in 2003 does not mean they are better than us they are not even full members of icc. And I don't get why you are after us, India is a far better team than we are and had a great chance of winning the wc in 2011. (I don't know how cricket was in 1983).

Posted by Empire_Of_Cricket on (August 21, 2012, 15:18 GMT)

And one more point...its really waste that criticizing India's 1983 WC triumph...as it was dully made the change in cricket world as WI lost their prime honor as top cricket nation and OZ took the position until India wins WC again to stop the dominant's ship. Meanwhile there were lots up-&-down but still India have managed to shows their ability to keep the top spot.

Posted by Empire_Of_Cricket on (August 21, 2012, 14:50 GMT)

India never hesitate to play against the associates. The reason is being World Champions, India always looking forward for some fights with the opponents like SA, OZ, SL, ENG and ever green PAK for win doesn't matter win or lose its all about the spirit of game...

Posted by ExtremeSpeed on (August 21, 2012, 14:00 GMT)

@dicki_boy - I've read your views and its clear you're trying desperately hard to find a way to cover your loss against Bangladesh but just face it that India were over confident and took Bangladesh lightly. You're right Sachin who by the way is one of my favourite batsman strike rate was low but it wouldn't have made any difference because as soon as he got that 100 he then started going aggressively and because of that got out so India would've still struggled to gain those extra runs. Besides, when Kohli faced his first delivery in that match, it was plum LBW but because it wasn't given out, he made a 50 but you don't see us complaining about that so quit with this nonsense. Also use up the whole comment section instead of parts because it doesn't make you look good. The fact is India have been playing Cricket for almost a 100 years and still not a dominant side with all that resources and people :D

Posted by ExtremeSpeed on (August 21, 2012, 13:48 GMT)

Bangladesh have improved no doubt about that but still have a lot of work to do. The major problem with them is that they do not play enough games annually.

Posted by dicky_boy on (August 21, 2012, 7:51 GMT)

@rocketman , luck is possible only to get to quarters and super six stage as you just need a win against a top nation, I guess like in 2007 wc both ireland and ban , but after that you have to beat 3 of the best teams in the world to win the wc in three high pressure elimination games., I guess you consider getting to the super six stage as a world cup win, well then I guess yeah a fluke is possible in a world cup :) Cric info please publish

Posted by dicky_boy on (August 21, 2012, 7:34 GMT)

@rocketman , fluke is possible only to get to quarters and super six stage as you just need a win against a top nation, I guess like in 2007 wc both ireland and ban , but after that you have to beat 3 of the best teams in the world to win the wc in three elimination games ,, I guess you consider getting to the super six stage as a world cup win, well then I guess yeah a fluke is possible in a world cup :) Crib info please publish

Posted by dicky_boy on (August 21, 2012, 7:29 GMT)

Well as far as 2011 wc goes,.We beat SA2-1,AUS 1-0, ENG5-0 and 5-1, NZ 5-0, srilanka 5-1, WI and also every other team in 3 years before the wc . Also we won CB series In Australia . Bangladesh is never considered for that last tourney I wonder why :), even more no Asian team plays a full series with Bangladesh , I wonder why :)

Posted by dicky_boy on (August 21, 2012, 7:26 GMT)

Kenya I guess is a better team than bd, cause they at least made it to the semis, even though newzealand gave a bye , well as far as 2011 wc goes,.We beat SA2-1,AUS 1-0, ENG5-0 and 5-1, NZ 5-0, srilanka 5-1, WI and also every other team in 3 years before the wc . Also we won CB series In Australia . Bangladesh is never considered for that last tourney I wonder why

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George BinoyClose
George Binoy Assistant Editor After a major in Economics and nine months in a financial research firm, George realised that equity, capital and the like were not for him. He decided that he wanted to be one of those lucky few who did what they love at work. Alas, his prodigious talent was never spotted and he had to reconcile himself to the fact that he would never earn his money playing cricket for his country, state or even district. He jumped at the opportunity to work for ESPNcricinfo and is now confident of mastering the art of office cricket
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Aust U19 v India U19 at Townsville - Aug 26, 2012
India U19 won by 6 wickets (with 14 balls remaining)
NZ U19 v S Africa U19 at Townsville - Aug 25, 2012
S Africa U19 won by 8 wickets (with 212 balls remaining)
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S Lanka U19 won by 7 wickets (with 66 balls remaining)
B'desh U19 v Pakistan U19 at Townsville - Aug 24, 2012
B'desh U19 won by 5 wickets (with 22 balls remaining)
England U19 v W Indies U19 at Townsville - Aug 24, 2012
England U19 won by 13 runs
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Scot U19 won by 5 wickets (with 50 balls remaining)
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