Penang, August 8:

Nepal entered the quarter-finals of the ACC Under-17 Asia Cup Cricket Tournament after Afghanistan, who topped Group C, defeated Brunei by 341 runs here on Monday. Batting first, Afghanistan scored 352 runs losing eight wickets in 45 overs. In reply, Brunei were packed off for only 11 runs in eight overs. Nepal, who lost to Afghanistan on August 5 before regestering a thumping 10-wicket victory over Brunei the next day, finished runners-up ahead of winless Brunei. Nepal will now face Group B leaders Singapore in Wednesday’s quarter-finals, which will be held in Kuala Lumpur. Singapore defeated Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bhutan in preliminary round matches. The Nepali players had a two-hour work out on batting, fielding and bowling on Monday and are scheduled to leave for Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday to play their quarter-final match. The tournament willnow shift to the capital city after the first-round matches were over. It’s going to be a challenging match for Nepal as Singapore is considered to be one of the title favourites among the 14 participating teams. “We have got a strong opponent in the quarters, and on top of that my boys are getting injured or sick one after another,” said coach Roy Luke Dias. “What can I say in this situation,” he added. “They have gained some confidence after playing two preliminary-round matches, but that is not enough for us to advance to the next round,” said the Sri Lankan coach. Dias was also concerned about the batting and fielding side of the team. “We have to improve a lot in the next match,” he added.

Deepen in pain

PENANG: Vice captain Deepen Shrestha became the third player to be injured during the ongoing Under-17 Asia Cup cricket tournament in Malaysia. The wicketkeeper and reliable batsman suffered a groin pain from Sunday but informed the team management only on Monday during a practise session. Assistant coach Pradeep Raj Pandey, however, said that Deepen would be fit for the quarter-finals after taking two-day rest. Medium pacer Sujin Adhikari and left arm seamer Iraj Shrestha have already been ruled out of the tournament due to injuries. — HNS