Nepal clinch fourth U-19 title
Qualify for next year’s ICC Under-19 World Cup
Kathmandu, August 29:
Nepal clinched the fourth consecutive ACC Under-19 Elite Cup title after defeating Afghanistan by 48 runs in final at the Kinrara Oval in Kuala Lumpur today. With the win Nepal also qualified for the ICC U-19 World Cup slated for February, 2008 in Malaysia.
Opting to bat first for the first time in the tournament, Nepal were all out for 172 in 49.4 overs and restricted Afghanistan to 124 in 45.5 overs.
Nepal were in deep trouble after losing Shashi Keshari (0) and Gyanendra Malla (1) in the first two overs but third wicket stand of 44 runs between Mahesh Kumar Chhetri and skipper Paras Khadka steadied the Nepali innings. Mahesh scored 14 runs off 58 balls while Paras made 28 from 53 balls. But Nepal came under a real test after losing three quick wickets. Paras, who was later declared man-of-the-series, was dismissed by Asghar Hussain in the 17th over with the score reading 47-3. Mahesh followed soon in the 20th over, trapped leg before by Obaidullah Kunari before Antip Thapa became Kunari’s next victim making it 60-5 after 22 overs.
Sagar Khadka and Aakash Kumar Gupta rescued their team in time with the 61-run partnership for the sixth wicket. Aakash played aggressively scoring run-a-ball 48 including six fours and a six while Sagar supported with a patient 32 off 79 balls that included just one boundary. Raj Shrestha contributed 14. Asghar Hussian, Obaidullah Kunari and Aimal Wafa claimed two wickets each while Izatullah Khan, Sajed Khan and Zakiullah Zaki took one wicket each for Afghanistan.
Proven for their batting brilliance, Afghanistan were put in the backfoot early on by the Nepali pacemen. Amrit Bhattarai had
danger man Sajid Khan (2) caught by Paras in the third over but although it took Nepal 10 more over to get another wicket, Afghanistan were able to drag the total to just 21 runs. Avay Rana bowled Murad Ali (2) in the 13th over.
Nepal claimed three more wickets in regular interval thanks to the spinners but No 3 batsman Shir Shirzai held on. Shirzai, who was adjudged man-of-the-match, scored 115-ball 66 including three fours and a six. Nepali spinners rattled through the Afghanistan middle-order despite the defiance of Shirzai and Shabir Noori (28 not out).
Leg spinner Shashi, bowling for the first time in the tournament, finished with the best figures of 3-32 off 10 overs and was ably supported by left-arm spinner Rahul BK (2-14), off-spinner Sagar Khadka (2-16) and Raj Shrestha (1-17).
No playoff needed: Pandey
KATHMANDU: Nepal qualified for the ICC U-19 World Cup after their ACC U-19 Elite Cup win in Kuala Lumpur today.
Nepal’s participation for the February 2008 World Cup was not sure until today after Malaysia was given the direct entry as the hosts nation from Asia. Nepal was supposed to play Scotland, the European runner up, for a place in the World Cup. But, Binay Raj Pandey, president of Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN), said today that the international cricket governing body confirmed Nepal’s participation.
“Asia have been the dominant force in the age-group tournament and we were demanding at least two spots for Asia,” said Pandey. Pandey said that CAN will receive the official confirmation of Nepal’s qualification within a few days. “Thankfully, we don’t have to play the playoff now,” he added.
Five teams Ireland (Europe), Bermuda (America), Papua New Guinea (East Asia Pacific) and two teams from Asia have so far qualified for the World Cup while the African representative is yet to be decided among the non-Test playing nations. The 16-team tournament also includes 10 Test-playing nations — India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, England, West Indies and Zimbabwe. — HNS
MK Chhetri lbw b Kunari 14
S Keshari c Ali b Hussian 0
G Malla b I Khan 1
P Khadka b Husian 28
A Thapa lbw b Kunari 1
S Khadka c&b S Khan 32
AK Gupta c Khalid b Wafa 48
R Shrestha b Wafa 14
Rahul not out 6
A Rana c Kunari b Zaki 2
A Bhattaria run out 2
Extras: 24 (w16, b2, lb6)
Total: 172 (49.4 overs)
FoW: 1-2, 2-3, 3-47, 4-55, 5-60, 6-121,
7-150, 8-163, 9-166
Afghanistan bowling: Hussian 10-2-25-2,
I Khan 10-1-35-1, Kunari 6-0-20-2,
Shirzai 3-0-14-0, Wafa 10-0-24-2,
S Khan 3-0-14-1, Zaki 7.4-0-32-1
S Khan c P Khadka b Bhattarai 2
M Ali b Rana 2
S Shirzai c Bhattarai b S Khadka 66
O Kunari c S Khadka b Rahul 10
N Haq st Chhetri b Keshari 3
M Khalid c P Khadka b Rahul 7
S Noori not out 28
Z Zaki c Rana b S Khadka 3
A Hussain c&b Keshari 0
A Wafa b Keshari 0
I Khan c&b Shrestha 1
Extras: 2 (w1, lb1)
Total: 124 (45.5 overs)
FoW: 1-2, 2-21, 3-34, 4-46, 5-67, 6-108,
7-121, 8-122, 9-122
Nepal bowling: Bhattarai 6-2-11-1,
P Khadka 7-1-15-0, Rana 6-0-18-1,
Rahul 8-3-14-2, Shrestha 5.5-1-17-1,
Keshari 10-1-32-3, S Khadka 3-0-16-2