Sports

U-19 Asia Cup: Valiant Nepal fall short

  • Lose narrowly to Test side Bangladesh in a last-over thriller by 2 wickets
- Subas Humagain, KUALA LUMPUR

Nov 12, 2017-Nepal fell agonisingly short losing to Bangladesh by two wickets in a last-over thriller in their first Group ‘A’ match of the ACC U-19 Asia Cup at the Kinrara Oval on Saturday.

Put in to bat first after Bangladesh won the toss in a match reduced to 43 overs due to rain, Nepal made a modest 167-6 in 40.1 overs before rain forced them off the field. Bangladesh were given a revised 181-run target from 40 overs under the Duckworth/Lewis Method and reached the target in 39.5. 

Bangladesh needed 16 runs to win from the last 12 balls and medium pacer Kishor Mahato bowled tightly conceding just six runs in the penultimate over that fetched Nepal two wickets. Kamal Singh Airee gave a dream start in the final over when Nepal had to defend 10 runs bowling set batsman Mahidul Islam in the first ball. 

Kamal bowled a yorker to new man Nayeem Hasan but he scooped it towards third man for a boundary. Hasan picked up a single in the third ball as Bangladesh needed five runs from last three balls. Robiul Haque struck a boundary at the covers and Hasan sealed the victory with a single of the second last ball.

Nepal coach Binod Das wanted to stay positive after the heart-breaking defeat. “We did very well with both bat and ball. We gave a tough challenge to a Test playing team though the result was not in our favour. We have to stay very positive when we play against India in the second game,” said a dejected Das.

Bangladesh had gotten off to a positive start in the chase after Pinak Ghosh and Mohammad Naim Sheikh added 47 runs for the first wicket. Kamal gave the breakthrough trapping Ghosh (24) leg before wicket. Leg spinner Sandeep Lamichhane then removed new man Saif Hasan (12) and Anil Sah got the prized wicket of set batsman Sheikh reducing Bangladesh to 104-3 in 27 overs. 

Sheikh contributed 52 from 82 balls with three boundaries and a six. Skipper Dipendra Singh Airee soon removed Tawhid Hridoy (15) and Lamichhane got rid of Aminul Islam (duck) as Bangladesh’s score read 122-5 in 32.2 overs. But Afif Hossain and Islam (23) revived the innings with a 48-run stand for sixth wicket. 

With asking rate creeping high, Nepal managed to get rid of both set batsmen and had three wickets in a space of four balls but Haque and Hasan stole what could have been Nepal’s first victory over Bangladesh at U-19 level in 15 years. Hossain was the second best scorer for Bangladesh making 33 from 39 deliveries with a four and a six.

Earlier, Nepal were reduced to 70-4 in 24.1 overs after losing opener Jitendra Singh Thakuri (six), Sah (19),  Sheikh and skipper Airee (12), Sheikh made 30 off 52 with three boundaries. But Nepal fought back through Bhim Sharki and Rohit Kumar Paudel who cut loose against spinners and forged a partnership of 79 runs for the fifth wicket. Sharki was particularly aggressive smashing three sixes and two boundaries in his 40-ball 44, while Paudel made 40 from 54 with two sixes and as many fours.

Bangladesh coach Damien Wright termed the clash a ‘perfect game of cricket’ adding: “This was a very important game for us. All the games in this tournament are competitive. Nepal is a very good team and the way they played today proves it. The victory today has helped us learn a lot.”

Summary

Bangladesh U-19 181-8 in 39.5 overs (N Sheikh 52, A Hossain 33; S Lamichhane 2-35, K Mahato 1-16, A Sah 1-31) beat Nepal 167-6 in 40.1 overs (B Sharki 44, K Paudel 40, A Sheikh 30; N Hasan 3-33, H Mahmud 1-3) by two wickets under D/L Method

Published: 12-11-2017 10:17

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