KATHMANDU, July 17: Pranit Thapa Magar and Anil Kumar Sah made crucial runs for Nepal as they chased down the paltry target of 74 runs in 18th over to register the win in first match of the ICC Asia Under-19s World Cup Qualifier played at Padang, Singapore.
Nepal floundered in chase after restricting Singapore to a meager total. Both the openers, Sandeep Sunar and Aasif Sheikh were back to pavilion in only fourth over making one and four runs respectively. Singapore 17-year-old pacer Aryaman Sunil wreaked havoc picking up both the wickets. The host nation kept the pressure throughout as Rohan Rangarajan and Ansh Bhargava picked up important wickets of Pranit and Dipendra Airee to leave Nepal reeling on 42 for four wickets in 11th over. Pranit made valiant runs and looked in control smashing 23 runs including three boundaries before getting dismissed. Nepal further lost couple of wickets to Singapore left-arm spinner Gopinath Aahan who dismissed Anil Sah and Prakash KC. Anil Sah contributed vital 19 runs to Nepal’s chase smashing three boundaries before losing his stumps to Gopinath’s delivery. Rohit Poudel & Pawan Sarraf then ensured Nepal’s first victory by adding required runs to win the low-scoring thriller. Rohit made not out 11 runs including one boundary supported by Pawan Sarraf’s four runs.
Earlier, Nepal won the toss and elected to bowl. Skipper Sandeep Lamichhane then led from front as he registered his best bowling figures for Nepal picking up a five-wicket-haul. The leg-spinner put up a bowling clinic as he claimed five Singapore batsmen when seventh wicket fell in the 18th over. He bowled eight overs delivering two maidens and conceded 21 runs. Singapore was struggling at 26 for seven before low order batsman Brigu Iyer played a breathtaking cameo of 42 runs including six boundaries and a maximum in just 39 deliveries. He was the only double-digit scorer for the host country apart from opener Sean Agarwal who made 11 runs. Brigu was the last batsman to be dismissed in 29th over. Debutant Nepal bowlers left arm spinner Shahab Alam and right arm seamer Kishore Mahato picked up three and two wickets respectively.
Nepal plays their next game against Malaysia on Tuesday, July 18 at 7:15 AM Nepal Standard Time (NST).
Afghanistan destroys Malaysia
Malaysia had a day to forgot as five batsmen registered ducks before getting bundled out for 53 runs in 22nd over. Pace bowler Yusuf Zazai and off-break bowler Mujeeb decimated Malaysia batting innings picking up four and three wickets respectively. Malaysia skipper Virandeep Singh was the only double digit scorer with 19 runs. Afghanistan conceded 14 extra runs which was second highest after Virandeep’s 19.
Afghan batman Darwish Rasooli led the reply in an emphatic fashion smashing 32 runs which included two boundaries and three maximums completing the target of 54 runs in just 5.3 overs. The tally for duck-outs of the day reached seven when Malaysia’s Syed Aziz picked up two wickets before Afghanistan stroll the chase by 8 wickets.
Afghanistan plays their next match against Singapore on Tuesday, July 18 at 7:15 AM NST.