Afghanistan Under-19s completed a 3-1 victory over their Bangladesh counterparts in a five-match series held from September 28 to October 6. Here is a list of some of the best performances.
Afghanistan fell to 44 for 4 in the 13th over of the fourth game with the series level at 1-1. With the score on 75, they would lose three further wickets, and it fell upon 18-year old Nisar Wahdat to lead a rescue mission with the tail. The right-handed batsman made 53 off 93 balls, with three fours and a six, spearheading an eighth wicket partnership of 57 with Naveen-ul-Haq. Afghanistan managed a total of 133. It proved match-winning by 45 runs.
It came from a 16-year old. Mujeeb Zadran was given the new ball because the offspinner had taken eight wickets in the first three matches. He nearly doubled that tally in the course of a nine-over spell, picking up 7 for 19 and reducing Bangladesh to an untenable 11 for 6. Afghanistan might well have believed they could defend 133, but they couldn't have imagined doing so in such spectacular style. To make it a little bit sweeter, Mujeeb now holds the joint second-best best bowling figures in all Youth ODIs.
Bangladesh newcomer Towhid Hridoy was the highest scorer in the series, finishing with 159 runs at 31.80, with two fifties. His strike-rate (65) needs to improve but his performance over the coming months will prove crutial as the team prepares for the Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand coming February.
Mujeeb, the emphatic winner with 17 wickets at 5.76. No bowler has taken that many in a bilateral Youth ODI series. Bangladesh's Shaker Ahmed in 2009 had managed 15, so did Sri Lanka's Sachith Pathirana in 2007, but now they've been overtaken. Apart from his obvious ability to be a strike-bowler, he finished the series with an economy rate of 2.1.
The fourth game, again, it was a veritable bounty. If you'll recall, Wahdat and his captain Naveen rescued Afghanistan from 75 for 7 to end up with 133. Then Mujeeb ripped the heart out of Bangladesh's top and middle order. But coming together at 11 for 6, wicketkeeper batsman Mahidul Islam and Nayeem Hasan added 75 runs to get them back in the contest. When Nayeem was trapped lbw to Mujeeb, however, things quickly changed. Bangladesh lost their last four wickets in 11 balls to be shot out for 88.