Mehrab Hossain led from the front with a well-composed 89 as GP-BCB National Cricket Academy (NCA) thrashed South Africa Academy by 119 runs to confirm their final berth in the tri-nation one-day series at the Chittagong Divisional Stadium yesterday.
The left-hander timely returned among the runs after poor showing in the first two games to help his side bounce back from their disappointing loss in the previous match against Pakistan Academy side who already confirmed their place for the April 23 final to be held in Mirpur.
Man-of-the-match Mehrab got brilliant support from Under-19 batsman Nasir Hossain during their unbeaten 124-run fifth wicket stand as the home side put up a fighting total of 246-4 in their stipulated 50 overs after deciding to bat first.
The total was however was too good for South Africa Academy as the visitors were bundled out for 127 runs in 44.1 overs.
Mehrab's brilliant 89 was a mixture of caution and aggression and the out-of-favour Tigers batsman struck eight boundaries while Nasir, who had two vital innings of 52 and 36 against South Africa and Pakistan, continued his good form with unbeaten 54 off 66 deliveries that featured five boundaries.
Their efforts were complemented by national wicke-tkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim (35 off 45 balls) and Rajshahi batsman Farhad Hossain (21) but the only centurion so far in the tri-nation competition Imrul Kayes, who scored 113 against South Africa and missed the game against Pakistan due to injury, couldn't deliver anything, being out for only 19.
The South Africans bowlers could extract little from the wicket. Although CJ De Villiers took two wickets he was not at all economical yesterday, giving away too many (63 in 10 overs) runs.
In reply, neither the batting of South Africa nor their body language showed any purpose on the field while they were chasing a big total. Only Mathew Arnold (25 off 63 balls) and Abdul Aziz Temoor (21 off 28 balls) came up with little substance to help push the score beyond three digits.
South Africa Academy play their last match against Pakistan Academy side at the same venue today.
SCORES IN BRIEF
GP-BCB NCA: 246 for 4 in 50 overs (Sadat 5, Kayes 19, Farhad 21, Mushfiqur 35, Mehrab 89 not out, Nasir 54 not out, extras 23; CJ De Villiers 2-63, Mondli Mahlombe 1-35)
SOUTH AFRICA NCA: 127 all out in 44.1 overs (Sammy 0, Jappie 2, CJ De Villiers 15, Reeza 8, Schalkwyk 14, Arnold 25, Barnes 8, Neves 4, Mahlombe 1, Shezi 14 not out, 21, extras 15; Delwar 2-15, Nasir 2-25, Shuvo 2-27, Farhad 1-2, Arafat 1-17, Nazmul 1-27).
Result: GP-BCB NCA won by 119 runs.