Nepal U-16 cricket team player bats during the semifinal match against Hong Kong U-16 during the ACC U-16 Eastern Region cricket tournament held at Prem Tinsulanonda International School Cricket Ground in Chiang Mai, Thailand on Saturday. Photo Courtesy: ACC/Twitter
KATHMANDU, April 28: Nikhil Kumar Singh led the bowling attack picking up four wickets in the match helping Nepal U-16 cricket team defeat Hong Kong U-16 by four wickets to seal the place in the final match of the ongoing ACC U-16 Eastern Region cricket tournament at Prem Tinsulanonda International School Cricket Ground in Chiang Mai, Thailand on Saturday.
Player of the match Singh was supported by Bishal Kumar Patel and Ramesh Kurmi’s two wickets each. Similarly, Tilak Raj Bhandari registered a wicket to help Nepal bundle out Hong Kong for the low score of 86 runs in 32.2 overs before completing the chase in 21.4 overs to book the final clash against Malaysia on Sunday.
Malaysia defeated Singapore by 57 runs in another semifinal match to secure its place in the final. Sachinu Hettige picked up three wickets to dismiss Singapore for 113 runs in 30.4 overs defending 170 runs to secure the win.
Nepal kept its winning streak after another successful chase led by Ashish Bhattarai who top-scored patient 17 runs from 43 deliveries which included two boundaries.
Rohan Dudhraj BK, Deepak Bohora and Suwash Ayer contributed 14, 11 and 12 runs respectively. Similarly, Krish Karki remained unbeaten on 12 runs to help Nepal achieve the target.
Brij Narain Sheopuri picked up three wickets for Malaysia supported by Ahan Kanhai Trivedi’s two wickets. Likewise, Raunaq Kapur chipped with a wicket in losing cause.
Earlier, Hong Kong won the toss and elected to bat first. Skipper Aarush Bhagwat stood out with his unbeaten innings for 43 runs from 83 deliveries as he saw wickets fall in quick intervals at the other end.
None of the other Hong Kong batsmen were able to reach double digit figure as Sheopuri’s eight runs were second highest individual score of the innings. Rest of the batsmen could only add 23 runs on the total.
The second highest runs came from extras which cost Nepal 20 runs including 16 wides.
Nepal which recently gained ODI status are the defending champions after they beat Singapore by 71 runs in the final held in Bangkok in December 2017. The tournament is being staged for the second time as players from eight teams from across the Eastern half of Asia.
The same eight teams which competed in 2017 were divided into two groups with Nepal topping the Group A consisting of Malaysia, Thailand and Myanmar whereas Singapore, Hong Kong, Bhutan and China featured in Group B. All eight teams played three group matches with the top two in each group qualifying for the semi-finals.