Nepal remain in hunt for U-19 World Cup
- Defeat UAE by 94 runs to finish second
- Enter Continental Playoff
Nov 16, 2014-
Nepal remained in hunt for the 2016 ICC U-19 World Cup finishing second in the ACC U-19 Premier with a 94-run victory over the United Arab Emirates in Kuwait on Saturday.
After failing to earn a direct qualification following a five-wicket loss against Afghanistan in their fourth league stage match on Friday that served as the U-19 World Cup qualifiers, Nepal needed to beat UAE to have another shot at the junior World Cup through Continental Playoff. Nepal will now meet the runners-up from Africa, Europe, East Asia-Pacific and the Americas in the Continental Playoff where only the champions will guarantee a ticket to World Cup in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Afghanistan, meanwhile, completed the formalities and earned direct qualification to the World Cup hammering Kuwait by 206 runs in their final league stage match. They finished unbeaten with 10 points from maximum five matches. Nepal ended up with eight points from their five. In the meaningless matches on Sunday, UAE will take on Malaysia and Kuwait will be up against Saudi Arabia.
In the match on Saturday, Nepal made a challenging 250-9 with half centuries from Aarif Sheikh and Prem Tamang. Bowlers did the rest for Nepal skittling out the UAE for just 156 runs in
44.3 overs but not before surviving a testing partnership between Karthik Shekhar and Waruna Perera.
Nepal reduced UAE to 45-3 in their defence but Shekhar and Perera stitched an 84-run stand to prolong their wait for victory. Irshad Ahmed broke the partnership with a return catch of Shekhar as UAE lost their last seven wickets for just 27 runs. Shekhar made 52 off 95 and Perera, who was the ninth UAE wicket to fall, top scored with 57 off 73. Both batsmen hit two boundaries and a six each.
Dipendra Airee picked up 3-19 from 6.3 overs, while Irshad Ahmed was economical in his 2-28 from 10 overs. Saurav Khanal, Sheikh, Sushil Kandel and Sunil Dhamala picked up a wicket each.
Earlier, Nepal lost opener Dhamala (naught) in the first ball of their innings but Sheikh and Sandip Sunar anchored the innings with a 52-run stand. Sunar was out for 18 off 24 with two boundaries. Sheikh then added another 83 runs for the third wicket with Shankar Rana to take Nepal into a strong position before both batsmen were dismissed in a space of six balls.
Sheikh notched up his second half century of the tournament making 60 off 86 with four boundaries and a six, while Rana made 48 off 86 hitting five boundaries. Nepal then lost the wickets of skipper Raju Rijal (seven), Dipendra Airee (two) and Saurav Khanal (one) cheaply but Tamang pushed the total to respectability.
Tamang shared 65 runs for the eighth wicket with Yogendra Karki. Tamang, pushed down to middle order after he failed to make much impact in the opening slot in first three games, collected 52 from 48 balls hitting four boundaries. Karki played a 28-ball cameo of 35 striking four hits to the fence. Oswin Crasta picked up 3-30 from 10 overs for the UAE.
Published: 16-11-2014 09:16