Sri Lanka knocked out of ACC U-19 Asia Cup

A brilliant century by opener Ashiqur Rahman Shibli guided Bangladesh to the semifinal of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) U-19s Asia Cup with an all-win record, eliminating Sri Lanka by six wickets with 55 balls remaining at the ACC Academy ground in Dubai, UAE, on Wednesday.
Group B champions Bangladesh will play their giant neighbour India, the runners-up in Group A, in the second semifinal on Friday.
The final match is billed for December 17.
Chasing a target of just 200 runs in the day’s match, Bangladesh easily achieved their goal-scoring 204 runs for the loss of four wickets in 40.5 overs.
Opener batsman and wicketkeeper Ashiqur Rahman Shibli was the main architect of Bangladesh’s victory in the day’s last group match, hammering an unbeaten 116 runs off 130 balls, featuring eleven fours and two sixes.
Besides, Chowdhury M Rizwan made 32 runs from 39 balls, hitting two fours and a six; Arhar Amin contributed a run-a-ball with 23 with one four and a six; and Ariful Islam scored 18 runs from 44 balls.
Guruka Sanketh took two Bangladesh wickets for 56 runs.
Earlier, batting first, Sri Lanka scored 199 for 9 in the stipulated 50 overs.
Opener Pulindu Perera (28), one-down captain Sineth Jayawardena (25), Vishwa Lahiru (25), Rusanda Gamage (24), Ravishan De Silva (21), Sharujan Shanmuganathan (21), Dinura Kalupahana (20), and Ruvishan Perera (19) were the notable contributors for Sri Lanka.
Wasi Siddiquee of Bangladesh grabbed three wickets for 32 runs, while Maruf Mridha and Mahfuzur Rahman Rabby claimed two wickets, each conceding 34 and 40 runs, respectively.
In the day’s other match, hosts United Arab Emirates (UAE) smartly reached the semifinal of the ACC U-19 Asia Cup as the Group B runners-up, outplaying all-losers Japan by 107 runs at the ACC Academy Ground-2 in Dubai on Wednesday.
They will also play the first semifinal against Group A champions Pakistan on Friday.
On completion of four-team Group B matches, Bangladesh emerged as group champions with an all-win record, securing a full six points, host UAE finished as group runners-up to qualify for the semis, collecting four points; Sri Lanka was eliminated from the race with two points; and all losers, Japan, became 4th and last without any point.
In the four-team Group A, Pakistan emerged as champions, securing a full six points; India finished runners-up, collecting four points; Afghanistan became 3rd with two points; and pointless Nepal finished 4th and last.
Earlier, Bangladesh made a flying start in the four-team Group B, outplaying the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by 61 runs in the first match and outplayed Japan by nine wickets, with 232 balls remaining in the second match.