HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: Dipendra Chand played a captain’s knock as Nepal eased to an eight-wicket victory over Bahrain for their second consecutive win in the ACC U-16 Elite Cup in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia today.
Opting to bat first at the Kinrara Oval, Bahrain were all out for 141 in the penultimate ball of their innings. Dipendra and his opening partner Nurdhoj Sen then put on a brilliant century partnership helping Nepal achieve the target in just 21.2 overs for the loss of two wickets.
Dipendra played his shot all across the ground clobbering 12 boundaries on his way to make 75 runs off 69 deliveries. He shared a 138-run stand with Nurdhoj before both of the batsmen headed back to the pavilion in two successive deliveries.
Nurdhoj made 41 off 58 deliveries that included six hits to the fence and was the first to go, bowled by Lalaith Lal in the last ball of the 21st over. Nurdhoj was also the team’s highest scorer with 47 runs when Nepal defeated Kuwait by 78 runs in their opening match on Friday.
After Nurdhoj’s dismissal, man-of-the-match Dipendra fell to Akshay Bhardwaj in the first ball of the next over but by that time Nepal were just a shot away from victory. New man Aadil Khan hit the winning four in the only ball he faced.
Nepal coach Manzur Alam Khan said the openers backed their bowlers perfectly. “We had bowled them (Bahrain) to a low total and after that we had a good partnership. Particularly, Dipendra played really well,” Manzur told The Himalayan Times over the phone.
Earlier, Bharat Srinivasan (nine) and Akshay gave Bahrain a mediocre start adding 31 runs for the first wicket until Akash Bista gave Nepal the breakthrough with the wicket of the former. Though Bahrain middle order contributed some runs, they lacked the partnership after Nepali bowlers kept picking wickets at regular intervals.
Ananda Krishnan was Bahrain’s top scorer with 28 off 57 and Akshay was their next best with 26 off 50. Both batsmen hit two boundaries each. Albin Mathew also hit two fours in his 45-ball 23, while Adithya Manivannam (12) was the only other batsman to make runs in double figures. Akash returned with figures of 3-14 from 7.5 overs. Jagdish Chand, meanwhile, had one scalp. Kalicharan Yadav and Rupesh Bastola also took two wickets each.
Nepal — tied on four points with Malaysia — still trail the hosts on nett run rate. Nepal will play against Iran in their third Group ‘B’ match on May 8 at the Bayuemas Oval.
Kushal ruled out
KATHMANDU: The ACC U-19 Elite Cup is over for Nepal’s Kushal Bhurtel after the batsman dislocated his shoulder during a training session ahead of their match against Bahrain on Sunday. According to team manager Sanjeev Pandey, Kushal landed on his shoulder while going for a diving catch. “He has fractured his cleft bone on the left shoulder and will probably return home on Monday,” informed Pandey. Coach Manzur Alam Khan, however, said he had the right replacement for Kushal. He hinted at playing Ajay Sahani in place of Kushal.