Paudel stars again as Nepal defeat Andhra Pradesh in tour match

- ADARSHA DHAKAL, Kathmandu

Mar 26, 2019-

Skipper Rohit Kumar Paudel once again starred with the bat as Nepali U-19 team edged Andhra Pradesh U-19 by one wicket in an evenly-contested tour match in Andhra Pradesh, India, on Monday.

Batting first, Andhra Pradesh rode on half centuries from Nitesh Kumar and B Yogananda to reach 227 all out in 49.1 overs. Experienced Paudel bailed out his side from trouble and played role of an anchor on his way to scoring a 65-ball 71 before the tailender held firm to reach 230-9 in 47.3 overs.

Rested for the second match after scoring a crucial 81 in Nepal’s 72-run victory over the same side in the first game, Paudel forged a crucial partnership for the fifth wicket after Nepal were reduced to 73-4 in their chase. After losing opener Rit Gautam (0) without scoring a run on the board, Pawan Sarraf and Aasif Sheikh (12) combined for a 43-run second wicket stand.

But Nepal went through a mini collapse losing Sheikh, Sarraf and Hari Bahadur Chauhan in a space of 30 runs. Sarraf made 30 off 36 with three hits to the fence. Paudel then led the recovery with a 101-run partnership for the fifth wicket with Bhim Sharki. Paudel lost his wicket to P Subramanyam after hitting six fours and two sixes.

Sharki was next to go after making 49 off 82 with three fours as Sundeep Jora (19) and Kushal Malla (13) pushed the team close to victory with a 25-run seventh wicket partnership. Andhra Pradesh fought their way back removing both the batsmen followed by the dismissal of Rashid Khan. But Kamal Singh Airee (eight not out) held his nerves and hit the winning boundary. SMD Kamil took 5-36 from 10 overs for the local side.

Nepal had started with an early dismissal of opener Harshavardhan (two) off Pratish GC before the Andhra Pradesh middle order played the Nepali spinners with maturity. Kumar shared 74 for the second wicket with Ram Prasad (26) but both departed in the space of seven runs. Subramanyam and Yogananda resurrected their innings with an 81-run fourth wicket stand, pushing the total past 200.

Yogananda top scored for Andhra Pradesh with 59 off 69 ball in a boundary-less innings. Kumar notched up 51 off 59 with six fours and a six, while Yogananda chipped in 45 off 55 with two fours and a six. Andhra Pradesg could have managed to lift their innings but Nepali pacers managed to contain their lower middle order.

Airee took 4-47 and Sarraf bowled economically in his 3-38. Khand and Sagar Dhakal also took a wicket each for Nepal, who are fine tuning their preparations for the ICC U-19 World Cup Asia Qualifier set to start on April 10 in Malaysia.

Published: 26-03-2019 21:00

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