Two of the success stories of the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2016 will meet at the Bert Sutcliffe Oval, Lincoln as the 2018 edition gets underway on Saturday (13 January).
Bangladesh, hosts last time around, will be hoping to emulate their success from 2016 when Player of the Tournament Mehedi Hasan led them to a third-place finish, while Namibia come into the tournament having qualified by virtue of being the top placed associate two years ago, when they finished seventh.
Both sides are coming into the tournament on the back of defeats in their warm-up fixtures, Bangladesh falling to a 56-run defeat at the hands of Afghanistan and Namibia beaten by 190 runs by Pakistan. Beyond the tournament Bangladesh reached the semi-final of the Under 19 Asia Cup in November, only narrowly missing out on a spot in the final by two runs (DLS Method) to Pakistan. Namibia contested a tri-series with South Africa and England in December but were defeated in all four of their fixtures, so will be hoping to turn things around at U19CWC.
Players to watch:
Afif Hossain will be looking to recreate his BPL heroics
Bangladesh all-rounder Afif Hossain burst onto the scene during the 2017 Bangladesh Premier League, when aged 17-years-old he beceame the youngest player to take a Twenty20 five-for days – his 5/21 for Rajshahi Kings against Chittagong Vikings included the prize wicket of Chris Gayle. Also an opening batsman, Bangladesh U19s coach Damien Wright has tipped him as possibly the best left-hander at the tournament.
Namibia will be led by Lohan Louwrens, who was the African side’s top run-scorer at the last edition of the tournament with 163 runs at an average of 40.75. The 18-year-old has already made his debut for the senior side, turning out against the UAE in the ICC WCL Championship and ICC Intercontinental Cup in September 2017.
Head to Head
Bangladesh have won each of the five encounters between the sides at the Under 19 Cricket World Cup. At the last tournament in 2016 Namibia were dismissed for just 65, Bangladesh comfortably chasing their target in 16 overs for an eight-wicket victory.
Under 19 Cricket World Cup history
This is the 11th appearance at the ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup for Bangladesh, who made their tournament debut 20 years ago in South Africa. Enamul Haque holds the tournament record for the most wickets in a single edition of the competition, having taken 22 wickets on home soil in 2004. Bangladesh also produced the top run scorer in 2012 (Anumal Haque, 365 runs) and 2014 (Shadman Islam, 406 runs). They hosted the last edition, in which they achieved their best result of third place.
Namibia are taking part in the tournament for the ninth time, also having made their bow at the competition in 1998, when they finished 15th. They had never placed in the top 10 until 2016, when they pulled off one of the shocks of the tournament by beating neighbours South Africa which helped them finish second in Group A behind Bangladesh. Defeat by India in the quarter-final, followed by victory against Nepal saw them claim seventh place and qualify automatically for this year’s competition as the highest-finishing associate team at the tournament.
There’s been rain around in Christchurch and Lincoln recently, with the last two days of warm-up matches falling foul of the weather. But while there might be some rain in the morning, with a delayed start a possibility, it should clear up enough to allow the game to be played to a result.
Bangladesh: Saif Hassan (c), Afif Hossain, Aminul Islam, Hasan Mahmud, Mahidul Islam Ankon, Mohammad Naim, Mohammad Rakib, Nayeem Hasan, Pinak Ghosh, Qazi Onik, Robiul Hoque, Roni Hossen, Shakil Hossain, Tipu Sultan, Towhid Hridoy
Namibia: Lohan Louwrens (c), Henry Brink, Petrus Burger, Jan-Izak de Villiers, Shaun Fouche, Jurgen Linde, Nicol Loftie-Eaton, Gerhard Lottering, Erich van Mollendorf, Dewald Nell, Mauritius Ngupita, Ben Shikongo, Floris Steenkamp, Ramon Wilmot, Eben van Wyk