Christchurch: The International Cricket Council (ICC) Under 19 World Cup yielded another surprise on Thursday as holder India was defeated by Bangladesh in Auckland.
The unpredictability of cricket at this level has come to the fore during this tournament with Bangladesh's result coming after Nepal and Namibia defeated Pakistan and Sri Lanka respectively on Tuesday. India began the defence of tis World Cup with convincing wins over Canada and South Africa, but its form deserted it as Bangladesh won its first match of the tournament, clinging on to triumph by two wickets. The day got off to a bad start for India with opener Paul Valthaty taken to hospital suffering from a cut on his head after being struck on the face by a bouncer from Safaq al-Zabir. Fast bowler Ashiqur Rahman then took three for 17 as India was dismissed for just 77 over 32.4 overs. However, the modest total was to pose a serious challenge to Bangladesh with Siddhanth Trivedi taking three wickets as India reduced its opponents to 52 for six. Manvinder Bisla and Abhishek Sharma then took a wicket apiece as Bangladesh lurched to 64 for eight still requiring another 14 runs for victory. Tailender Ali Arman saw his side home with a vital unbeaten 12, however, the victory was not enough to earn Bangladesh a place in the super league, but its confidence will be sky high going into the Plate Championship next week. "It's unfortunate we could only tie with Canada because we came here aiming to get into the super league," G S Hasan Chowdhury, manager of the Bangladesh team, said. "Now we are concentrating on winning the Plate competition and this has given us a lot of confidence. I will now work my players very hard and we will be focussed on winning the Plate which would mean a lot to Bangladesh." In Christchurch Sri Lanka qualified for the Super League at the expense of Zimbabwe thanks to a 62-run victory at the Hagley Oval, which was orchestrated by two fine all-round performances from Jeevan Mendis and wicket-keeper Charith Sylvester. After a delayed start due to rain, Mendis was the cornerstone of Sri Lanka's 206 for nine with a crafted innings of 57. Opener Sumalka Perera also hit 57 and Sylvester scored useful runs down the order, weighing in with 36. Zimbabwe's reply got off to a solid start with opener Charles Coventry scoring 36 but leg spinner Mendis and Sylvester combined to undermine their opponents. Mendis bowled superbly to take seven for 19 and Sylvester claimed eight dismissals including four stumpings, all of Mendis, as Zimbabwe's lack of discipline at the crease saw it dismissed for just 143. In group 'D', West Indies, which along with Australia qualified for the Super League, defeated Kenya by nine wickets. Kenya was all out for just 114 with leg spinner Ron Matthews wreaking the damage taking four for 17. Donovan Pagon struck two sixes and seven fours in an unbeaten 63, and shared a 77- run second wicket partnership with Narsingh Deonarine (32) to guide the West Indies to victory. The final day of the first round on Friday will see either Pakistan or Nepal fail to qualify for the Super League. Pakistan needs to beat England to ensure it does not end up having to play in the Plate competition with Nepal waiting to pip it into second spot if it beats Papua New Guinea in Christchurch. In group 'A' South Africa takes on Canada and in group 'D' Australia will be looking to make light work of Scotland in Dunedin. The top two teams from each group will play in the Super League in Christchurch next week while the rest will battle it out for the Plate Championship in Auckland.