Shanto dashes Nepal’s gold medal hopes

Published On: December 8, 2019 07:30 AM NPT By: Rajan Shah

KATHMANDU, Dec 7: Nepal’s hopes of winning gold medal in cricket was dashed after a 44-run defeat against Bangladesh U-23 team in the 13th South Asian Games (SAG) men’s cricket held at TU Cricket Ground in Kirtipur on Saturday. Nepal was limited to 111 runs for the loss of nine wickets after Bangladesh posted a total of 155 runs batting first.

Skipper Najmul Hossain Shanto held Bangladesh innings together, scoring unbeaten 75 runs off 60 deliveries including four boundaries and four sixes from one end to help the Tigers post a winning total in a match watched by more than 5000 fans.

Nepal captain Gyanendra Malla top-scored with 43 runs off 43 deliveries which included three boundaries and a six. Vice-captain Dipendra Singh Airee managed 16 runs against a potent Bangladesh attack. However, all the other batsmen struggled to make any impact in the match with former skipper Paras Khadka’s nine runs and Rohit Kumar Paudel’s eight runs being the most. Bowler Avinash Bohara chipped in with unbeaten 13 runs off 10 deliveries as Nepal was limited to 111 runs for the loss of nine wickets in 20 overs.

Bangladesh produced a combined bowling effort as Sumon Khan, Tanvir Islam, Soumya Sarkar and Mahedi Hasan shared two wickets each. Hasan Mahmud was wicket-less in his economical four overs conceding 19 runs off it.

Earlier, Nepal won the toss and elected to bowl first. Former captain Khadka opened the bowling, registering his best bowling figures in T20 cricket. He dismissed Soumya Sarkar, Mohammad Naim and Saif Hasan to reduce Bangladesh to 16 runs for the loss of three wickets in the fourth over. Bangladesh captain Shanto shared a partnership of 94 runs with young batsman Afif Hossain who changed the momentum of the innings with his 52 runs from 28 deliveries which included four boundaries and a six.

 Nepal vice-captain Airee tried to slow things down with his two wickets in the match off his four overs conceding 31 runs. Likewise, Avinash Bohara dismissed Yasir Ali who had scored 14 runs off 15 deliveries. Karan KC, Pawan Sarraf and Susan Bhari were wicket-less in their respective overs in the match. Lalit Rajbanshi didn’t bowl in the match.

Bangladesh U-23 team will face Sri Lanka U-23 for the gold medal on Monday whereas the last group match between the two teams will be played on Sunday. Likewise, Nepal will face Maldives for the bronze medal on Monday.

Ibrahim inspires Maldives
Maldives all-rounder Hassan Ibrahim picked up three wickets to help Maldives overcome Bhutan by eight wickets in a virtual qualification match for bronze medal in the 13th South Asian Games (SAG) held at TU Cricket Ground in Kirtipur on Saturday. With the win, Maldives has secured a match against Nepal for the bronze medal on Monday.

Bhutan was limited to 117 runs for the loss of seven wickets in 20 overs after Maldives won the toss and invited Bhutan to bat first.
Bhutan captain Jigme Singye had scored 40 runs off 51 deliveries supported by Sonam Tobgay’s 24 runs off 35 deliveries to help the mountain nation reach 117. Nasif Umar Adam and Ibrahim Rizan shared a wicket each.

Umar stayed unbeaten on 37 runs off 29 deliveries to help Maldives chase down the target in 15.1 overs for the loss of two wickets. He shared an unbeaten partnership of 29 runs with Azyan Farhath who stayed not-out on 22 runs off 18 deliveries which included two boundaries. Likewise, Ahmed Hassan had scored 29 runs off 36 deliveries. Bhutan’s Kezang Nima and Jigme Singye shared a wicket each.

Bhutan remained win-less in its four matches during the group stage. Bhutan lost to Nepal, Sri Lanka U-23, Bangladesh U-23 and Maldives.

Kajal Shrestha and Roma Thapa completed the chase of nine runs in 1.1 overs against Maldives to complete its second win of the 13th South Asian Games (SAG) being held at Pokhara Stadium’s cricket ground on Saturday. With the win, Nepal has secured bronze medal in the event.
Shrestha stayed unbeaten on two runs while Thapa scored five runs to chase the paltry total presented by the Maldives that is playing its first international women’s cricket event.

Earlier, the Maldivian women won the toss and elected to bat first. Nine Maldivian batters were dismissed for zero runs. Opening batter Aima Aishath scored one run off 12 deliveries as Nepal conceded seven wides in the total of eight posted by the Maldives.

Anjali Chand registered bowling figures of four wickets off four overs including three maiden overs and conceding a run off it. Sarita Rana Magar and Nepal captain Rubina Chhetri Belbashi shared two wickets each. Similarly, Suman Khatiwada and Karuna Bhandari shared a wicket each.

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