Nepal fail to qualify for ICC Under-19 World Cup

- Ritesh Rijal, Kathmandu

Apr 19, 2019-

Nepal’s bid to secure a berth in the ICC U-19 World Cup for the eighth time  agonisingly failed on Thursday despite winning four of their five matches in  the Asia Qualifier in Kuala Lumpur.

For Nepal to qualify, they needed to beat Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates  (UAE) to lose against Oman in the final round matches on Thursday. While Nepal  did manage to win, but so did the UAE. UAE beat Oman by 10 wickets for their fifth win in as many matches to qualify for the U-19 World Cup slated for January and  February next year in South Africa. The UAE join Afghanistan, Australia,  Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, South  Africa, Sri  Lanka, the West Indies and Zimbabwe in the tournament proper.

Nepal were dominant throughout the Qualifier winning all four matches  convincingly but their unfortunate one-run loss to the UAE in the rain-affected  match on April 13 sealed their fate. Had not rain intervened, Nepal were in  comfortable position to beat the UAE having set 248-run target. The UAE were  122-3 in 30 overs when rain washed out the match. The Duckworth-Lewis  calculation saw the UAE win the match by one run.

Apart from the UAE match, Nepal beat Singapore by 217 runs, Malaysia by eight  wickets, Oman by 15- runs and finally on Thursday Kuwait by eight wickets. The Asia Qualifier allowed just the table-topper a berth in the U-19 World Cup.

At the Kinrara Academy Oval grounds on Thursday, Kuwait were bowled out for 157  in 49.4 overs and Nepal raced to victory scoring 160-2 in just 28 overs. But  their yet another convincing victory ended up just as a footnote to the UAE  qualification.

Kuwait’s total was built around a solid knock of No 4 batsman Noman Budroo, who  was the last man out at 70. Budroo saw wickets fall at the other end but the batsman himself stood firm to help his team post a respectably total on the board. Budroo slammed eight boundaries in his 120-ball stay in the pitch.

Opener Gokul Kumar also chipped in a painstaking 36 off 66 balls. Hamoud  Amanullah (17) and Meet Bhavsar (10) were the only other Kuwaiti batsmen to score in double figures. Nepal showcased their depth employing eight bowlers against Kuwait. Skipper Rohit Kumar Paudel was pick of the Nepali bowlers with figures of  3-13 from three overs. Kushal Malla, Surya Tamang and Rashid Khan also took two  wickets each.

In reply openers Rit Gautam and Pawan Sarraf literally killed off the match as a contest putting on 93 runs for the first wicket. Sarraf was first to go, dismissed by Abdul Sadiq in the 20th over having scoring 53 off 61 balls with  eight fours and a six. Man-of-the-match Gautam added another 47 runs for the second wicket with Aasif Sheikh but was trapped leg before wicket by Hamoud  Amanullah in the 27th over.

Gautam clobbered seven boundaries in his 84-ball 62. Sheikh and Sundeep Jora (5) then carried their team to the finishing line. Sheikh remained unbeaten on 33, his 20-ball cameo included five fours and a six.

Summary

Nepal 160-2 in 28 overs (R Gautam 62, P Sarraf 53, A Sheikh 33*; H Amanullah 1-25, A Sadiq 1-17) beat Kuwait 175 in 49.4 overs (N Budroo 70, G Kumar 36; RK Paudel 3-13, K Malla 2-21, S Tamang 2-27, R Khan 2-16) by eight wickets Man-of-the-match: R Gautam

Published: 19-04-2019 12:19

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