Loss against Afghanistan still hurting: Coach Das

Kathmandu, November 18

Nepali youth cricket team head coach Binod Das said Nepal’s semi-final defeat against Afghanistan in the ACC U-19 Asia Cup in Malaysia hurt the team.

Nepal had reached the last four of the competition for the first time after a stunning

victory over Test-playing nation India along with hosts Malaysia.

However, Nepal faced a seven-wicket defeat against Afghanistan in the semi-finals. Nepal could post just 103 runs on the board with Anil Kumar Sah (50) being the lone batsman to score in double figures.

“The match against Afghanistan hurt us. The team behaved totally different than in the previous three matches,” said Das upon the team’s arrival from Malaysia. “We had defeated India and had a close match against Bangladesh. But the humiliating loss against Afghans took away all the creams of the success,” he added. “We had formulated plans to tackle Afghanistan bowlers but the players failed to stick with the plans. It is a collective failure of our team,” said Das.

Nepal faced a two-wicket loss against Bangladesh in the opener but bounced back to beat India by 19 runs and Malaysia by eight wickets to make it to the maiden semi-finals. Das said advancing to the semi-finals for the first time could be taken as an achievement.

“After losing a close match against Bangladesh, we discussed that if we want to forget the defeat, we have to win the match against India and we did that,” remembered Das.

Das said Nepal could take a lot of positives from the tournament as there was clarity of thought in batting. “There was no doubt that our batsmen had skills but I found clarity of thought in them this time around. Earlier, our players had problems in approach while batting. Hope, we will not face batting problems in the days to come as our batsmen are aware of their roles,” said Das.

Skipper Dipendra Singh Airee said he was happy for creating history. “I am happy that Nepal reached the semi-finals for the first time. It was possible with the best efforts from all the team members,” said Airee, who added that the players were serious about their responsibilities against India. However, Airee said his side failed to stick with the team plan against Afghanistan in the semi-final match. “The tournament proved that we have improved a lot and we have reached a stage where we can think of beating any Test-playing nation,” said Airee.