Nepal U-19 cricket team captain Rohit Kumar Paudel raises his bat after scoring a half century during an ICC Asia Under-19 World Cup Qualifier match against Singapore U-19 at the Selangor Turf Club in Malaysia on Friday. Photo Courtesy: Raman Shiwakoti
KATHMANDU, April 13: Pawan Sarraf produced a player of the match performance in ongoing ICC Asia Under-19s World Cup Qualifier to elevate Nepal U-19 national cricket team to a huge win by 217 runs against Singapore U-19 in match played at Selangor Turf Club in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Friday. Skipper Rohit Kumar Paudel missed his century by five runs in Nepal’s total of 282 runs in a dominant all-round display from Nepal in the first match.
Nine Singapore batsmen were dismissed for single-digit score including three duck outs. Sarraf picked up three wickets to bundle Singapore out for 65 runs after scoring 47 runs opening the batting to give Nepal first win in the opening match of the qualifiers. The off-spinner conceded just five runs from his six overs in the match after smashing four boundaries and two sixes during his 53-ball stay in the first innings.
Sarraf was aided by left-arm spinners Kushal Malla and Surya Tamang’s two wickets each. Similarly, fast bowler Rashid Khan chipped in a wicket in Singapore’s humbling defeat. Nepal bowled-out Singapore in 31 overs to wrap up the first win.
Ishan Sawney top scored for losing team with 28 runs from 54 deliveries which included four boundaries and a six before being caught by Bhim Sarki off Tamang’s bowling. Sawney was followed by Sai Venugopal’s 18 runs from 45 deliveries which included three boundaries. None of the other batsmen were able to reach double-digit score as Pramesh Singhavi’s seven runs was the third big score of the innings.
Earlier, Singapore won the toss and invited Nepal to bat first in the Selangor Turf Club cricket ground. A partnership of 80 runs between Sarraf and Paudel helped stabilize the innings after Nepal lost two wickets within six overs of the match.
Skipper Paudel scored 95 runs from 105 deliveries which included seven boundaries and a six. Paudel held the innings together and stitched another crucial partnership of 77 runs with Rashid Khan from a tricky position of 160 runs from the loss of six wickets at the end of 27 overs.
Rashid produced a quick cameo of 48 runs from 47 deliveries which included four boundaries and two sixes. Paudel was seventh wicket to fall during Nepal’s innings with a total of 274 runs on the board.
However, lower-order dasher Kamal Singh Airee played a quick-fire innings for 31 runs from 18 deliveries at a strike rate of 172 to propel Nepal to 282 runs before getting all out in 48 overs. Sundeep Jora and Surya Tamang were dismissed for ducks whereas opening batsman Rit Gautam scored a run. Likewise, Bhim Sarki chipped in with 26 runs from 19 deliveries which included four boundaries and a six.
Atharva Gune was bowler of the day scalping four Nepal wickets conceding 37 runs from eight overs. Vinit Mehta and Rohit Sharma shared two wickets each but Singapore bowlers were not able to contain Nepal’s aggressive approach to the batting.
In other matches of the day, Syed Haider was adjudged player of the match for his 62 runs in United Arab Emirates (UAE) U-19 national cricket team’s five-wicket win over host team Malaysia U-19 in a match played at Kinrara Academy Oval in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. UAE U-19 completed the chase in 47.1 overs after dismissing Malaysia out for 206 runs in 48.4 overs. Similarly, Kuwait U-19 wicket-keeper batsman Meet Bhavser scored an unbeaten 44 runs to lead the chase of 106 in 19.3 overs. Hamza Qureshi and Hamoud Amanullah shared three wickets each to bundle out Oman U-19 for 105 runs in 34.2 overs after winning the toss and electing to bowl first.
All three winning teams are on two points each with Nepal leading the points table on net run-rate. Nepal will face UAE on Saturday. Likewise, Kuwait will face Singapore and Malaysia will host Oman on same day before a rest day on Sunday for all six teams.
The winner of the tournament will become the 13th team to confirm their place in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup in South Africa in 2020.