Mahato, Alam get first call

  • ICC U-19 World Cup Division 1 Asia Qualifier
- Post Report, Kathmandu

Jul 14, 2017-Right-arm seamer Kishore Mahato and left-arm spinner Shahab Alam earned first call ups while left-arm spinner Lalit Narayan Rajbanshi foced his way back into the team for the ICC U-19 World Cup Division 1 Asia Qualifier on Thursday. 

Rajbanshi was part of the Nepali teams that played the 2015 ACC U-19 Premier and U-19 World Cup Global Qualifier but he went on to miss the 2016 World Cup and last year’s ACC U-19 Asia Cup. Rajbanshi has been a revelation in the last few domestic tournaments, particularly during the Dhangadhi Premier League earlier this year with Team Chauraha.

While Mahato and Alam made into the national fold for the first time, batsman Pranit Thapa Magar and left-arm fast bowler Rijan Dhakal will be returning to international arena since takign part in the 2014 ACC U-16 Premier event. The 14-member final squad was picked up following the players’ performance in the final closed-camp in India that concluded on Thursday.

Sandeep Lamichhane, who led Nepal in the ACC U-19 Asia Cup, was retained as the skipper, while Sandeep Jora, Bikram Kumar Bhushal, Rashid Khan and Sushant Singh Thapa were kept as reserves. Other members in the team include Dipendra Singh Airee, Aasif Sheikh, Sandeep Sunar, Prakash KC, Anil Sah, Rohit Kumar Paudel, Aadil Khan and Pawan Sarraf.

Apart from the new five faces, rest of the squad had played in the ACC U-19 Asia Cup under Lamichhane. The players were picked up by an independent selection committee headed by ICC-Asia Chief Development Officer Venkatapathi Raju, national team head coach Jagat Tamatta and U-19 head coach Binod Das.

Meanwhile, Nepal’s unbeaten run in their preparation tour of India ended on Thursday with a 68-run defeat at the hands of a strong-looking Noida XI in Greater Noida. On the back of an unbeaten century from Indian Premier League player Tanmay Srivastava , Noida XI made 234-8 in 50 overs. Nepal, in reply, were bundled out for just 166 runs in 42 overs. 

Nepal had won their first three warm-up games before the fourth match against Noida XI was washed out on Tuesday due to rain. After wrapping up the preparations for the ICC U-19 World Cup Division 1 Asia Qualifier in India, Nepal will now head to Singapore on Friday where the tournament begins from Monday. 

Nepal will play Afghanis-tan, Singapore and Malaysia in the double round robin league with only the table toppers making it to the 2018 U-19 World Cup finals in New Zealand. 

Srivastav’s innings was the cornerstone in Noida victory as the opener carried the bat with an unbeaten 120 from 149 balls with seven boundaries and three sixes. Kishor Mahato and Pawan Sarraf picked up two wickets each for Nepal. 

Nepal were 29-2 in the fifth over but opener Sandeep Sunar and Dipendra Singh Airee rebuilt the innings with a 53-run partnership for the third wicket. Sunar made 36 from 58 balls with four boundaries and a six. Despite losing Sunar, Nepal had all their hopes on Airee but the middle order batsman was dismissed in the 31st over,  triggering a terrible collapse. 

Airee made a composed 55 from 66 balls with two sixes and as many fours and with his dismissal Nepal lost their last six wickets for just 25 runs. Wicketkeeper batsman Prakash KC scored 31 from 49  with two boundaries. Singh, Saini and Harshit Sethi picked up two wickets each for the local side.

Published: 14-07-2017 08:48

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