Cricketers lose to Pak

DHAKA: Nepal lost their third successive U-21 Twenty20 cricket tournament against Pakistan by 91 runs here at the Sher-e-Bangla Cricket Stadium today.

Electing to bat first, Pakistan scored a mammoth 173-2 in their allotted 20 overs and restricted Nepal to 82-8. Umar Amin scored a fiery 53 off 32 balls with two sixes and four fours while Ali Asad struck 45 unbeaten runs from 33 balls with one six and three fours for the Test-playing nation. Adilamin also contributed 20-ball 30 for Pakistan. Skipper Gyanendra Malla (1-35) and Bhuwan Karki (1-29) took one wicket each for Nepal. Nepal had lost their previous two matches also with two other Test-playing nations - Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Despite three straight loses, Nepal can still have a chance to play for the third-place playoff provided they beat Maldives in their last match on Saturday. The third-place playoff is scheduled for Sunday.

Chasing 175-run target, Nepal lost opener Subhash Khakurel (two) in the third over with the score 4-1. The 39-run second second wicket stand between Anil Mandal and Pradeep Airee was the only highlight of Nepali batting. Anil struggled for runs before he got out for 15 runs surviving 33 balls. Gyanendra Malla remained unbeaten on 21 off 27 balls as none of the other batsmen could score in double figures.

The fact that Nepali batsmen were able to score only five boundaries in the match speaks volume of their miserable batting display against the cricketing giants. Kamran Hussian and Nayyar Abbas were the pick of the Pakistan bowlers with two wickets apiece. Muhammad Rameez and Adil Amin also grabbed one wicket each.

Meanwhile, Prithu Baskota has been ruled out of the Saturday’s crucial match against Maldives after sustaining injury in his palm today. “He has a deep cut in his palm and certainly won’t be fit to play against Maldives,” said Doctor Bulanda Thapa. Prithu needed stitches to his cut while fielding against Pakistan today.