Chhetri, Khadka star in Nepal’s 4-wkt win

Himalayan News Service

Vishakapatnam, January 13

Mahesh Chhetri (54) and Paras Khadka (47) steered Nepal to a four-wicket victory over Malaysia in a preliminary league match of the Under-17 Asia Cup at the ACA-VDCA Stadium on the city outskirts today.

After restricting Malaysia to 137 for nine in their 45 overs, Nepal overhauled the target in just 28.2 overs, scoring 139 for six, with Cheetri and Khadka putting on 98 runs for the second wicket.

For Malyasia opener Fadlib Hasim top-scored with 27 off 66 balls including three hits to the fence before being caught by Antim Thapa caught off the bowling of Irfan Siddiqui. Bantu Bataju removed other opener A F Mohammed Noor for 15 off 17 balls.

Nepali skipper Paras Khadka trapped Mohammed D Maszalan for a duck, while Irfan dismissed Mohammed S Shariff (3), Irfan caught and bowled Zamir B Md Yusof for nine runs.

Shanmugan Nathgobaloo of Malaysia claimed two for 23 and Zamir Md Yusof, two for 38. Earlier, after electing to bat, Malaysia were unable to assert themselves, owing to the tight fielding and bowling from Nepal.

Irfan Siddiqui (three for 29) was the most successful bowler for Nepal.

In reply, opener Mahesh Chhetri played a cautious 75-ball 54 hitting five boundaries in 92 minutes, while other opener Pawan Das fell for just four runs. Under-19 star Sharad Vesawkar fell for one, while skipper Paras Khadka remained unbeaten on 47 off 66 balls which included four hits to the ropes in 86 minutes. Irfan Siddiqui hit a boundary in his seven-ball unbeaten innings. Nepal secured six points, including a bonus point, for their effort.

Nepal are in Group A with Malaysia and Qatar after Brunei withdrew from the tournament. Nepal will take on Qatar on Wednesday to qualify for the second round.