ICC Under-19 World Cup

Saif leads Bangladesh over Namibia

Staff Correspondent | Published: 15:39, Jan 13,2018 | Updated: 19:52, Jan 13,2018

 
 

Bangladesh's Mohammad Nayeem plays a shot during their ICC Under-19 World Cup match against Namibia in Lincoln on Saturday. – ICC.com

 

Saif Hassan, the Bangladesh Under-19 captain, ensured his team got off to a winning start despite the complications of a rain-shortened match in Lincoln. He struck a blistering 84 off 48 balls - with a whopping five sixes - to lift the total to a formidable 190 for 4. Faced with massive scoreboard pressure, Namibia's top order crumbled inside five overs and the match became little more than a formality after that, reports Cricinfo

 This is Saif's second Youth World Cup. In the previous one, his role had been to be the anchor, and many of his exploits in first-class cricket exhibit him as a steady batsman. In January 2017, he became the youngest double-centurion in Bangladesh domestic cricket when he made 204 not out off 410 balls. But Saif's natural tendency is to attack the ball; he has a BPL contract with Khulna Titans and when Saturday's game was essentially reduced to a T20, he switched to big-hitting mode. He came in with the score on 33 for 1 after four overs, put on 97 off 69 balls with Mohammad Naim, then 40 off 27 with Atif Hossain and finished the innings hitting 20 runs off the final over.

Following in their captain's footsteps, new-ball bowlers Qazi Onik and Hasan Mahmud took four wickets while conceding only 26 runs between them. Namibia in the face of all that slumped to 12 for 4 in the fifth over and were it not for a half-century from Eben van Wyk, they might not lasted their full quota of 20 overs.

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