Nepal beat Hong, advance to semi-finals

Kathmandu, December 12

Nepal defeated Hong Kong by four wickets in their second match of Group A and advanced to the semi-finals of the ACC U-16 Eastern Region Tournament at the Terdthai Cricket Ground in Bangkok on Tuesday.

Opting to bat first, Hong Kong managed 82-9 in their allotted 35 overs before Nepal raced to 84-6 in 24.1 overs. Nepal, who thrashed hosts Thailand by 133 runs on Monday, accumulated four points and made it to the last four with a match in hand.

Meanwhile, Thailand defeated Myanmar by six wickets and kept their hopes alive. Currently, Thailand and Hong Kong, who had defeated Myanmar by 212 runs on Monday, are tied on two points and the match between the two sides slated for Thursday will decide another semi-finalist from the group.

Similarly, Myanmar, who faced two losses in a row, are out of race and will take on Nepal in their last match of the group on Thursday.

On Tuesday, Pratis GC put Nepal ahead when he claimed two quick wickets. He first bowled Tej Narain Sheopuri out for a duck in the fourth ball of the innings and had Munir Khan (four) caught by Rajan Magar in the fifth over to reduce Hong Kong to 7-2.

Kalhan Marc Challu, who scored 16 off 32 hitting two boundaries, and skipper Adit Gorawara (seven) added 19 runs for the third wicket before the former was run out in the 12th over. Soon, Hong Kong were reduced to 45-7 inside 25 overs. However, Aryan Sharad Shetty, who top scored with 24 off 39 balls with the help of a four and two sixes, added 35 runs for the eighth wicket with Mohammad Hassan (two).

Nepal’s Pratish GC claimed 3-15, while Ajay Kumar Loniya, who maintained five maiden overs in his seven-over spell, returned with the figures of 2-2. Narayan Joshi and Nikhil Kumar Singh claimed one wicket each.

In reply, Nepal lost opener Kushal Malla (two), trapped for leg before the wicket by Raunaq Kapur in the second over with only 14 runs.

Nepal came under pressure after they lost three more wickets with just 34 runs on the board inside 10 overs. Bishal Bikram KC (11), skipper Rit Gautam (naught) and Narauayan Joshi (two) returned to the pavilion cheaply.

However, opener Rajan Magar, who scored 17 off 43 balls hitting a four, added 25 runs with Trit Raj Das for the fifth wicket before the former was caught by Raunaq Kapur off Nasrulla Rana in the 19th over. Das contributed 27 off 46 deliveries with the help of three fours.

Das and Sunil Bhandari — who remained unbeaten on 11 off 16 balls hitting a boundary — added 19 runs for the sixth wicket to seal the victory. Hong Kong’s Nasrulla Rana claimed 3-11, while Raunaq Kapur, Hussain Khan Mohammad and Aryan Sharad Shetty took one wicket each.