Nepal face mighty SA in semis

Colombo, February 15:

Nepal is eying to enter the final of the ICC U-19 World Cup Plate Championship for the second time but the journey is not that easy as it faces mighty South Africa in the semi-final on Thursday.

South Africa was forced to play the Plate Championship after being beaten by West Indies and Australia in the league. However, it had presented itself as a strong force scoring massive 337 runs against Scotland in the quarter-final winning the match by 185 runs.

Having psychological advantage over Nepal, South Africa would also be keen to take revenge for its loss in the last edition. In 2004, Nepal had restricted South Africa for 156 runs which they achieved in the 49.2 overs losing nine wickets. South Africa had advanced to the Super League on better run rates despite the one-wicket loss. Nepal had to perform well in all the three departments to beat South Africa in the semi-final. Of the four games Nepal has played so far, top-order batsmen did their job in the three matches while middle order had to take the responsibility in one match. Spinners have been doing tremendous job while pacers have yet to prove their point.

Nepal won the two matches they batted first against Ireland and Uganda and lost two matches they batted second against England and Zimbabwe.

Considering the record, Nepal is weak chasing the target, the fact skipper Kaniska Chaugain accepts. “Below 150 would be difficult for us to defend,” Chaugain said, adding that they could chase the total around 170 runs. He also said that they could beat South Africa if everyone does their job.

Avay Rana is expected to replace Bantu Bataju with Shashi Keshari as the super-sub, while Yaswant Subedi may not find himself in the semi-final line-up.

India cruise into Super League final

COLOMBO: Cheteshwar Pujara scored an unbeaten 129 as India cruised into the Super League final with an emphatic 234-run win over England. Electing to bat first, India scored 292/4 and pack England for a paltry 58 runs in 20.1 overs. Pujara hit 10 boundaries and a six in his 146-ball knock. R Sharma (59) and G Dhiman (48) also contributed valubale runs.

Meanwhile, New Zeal-and beat the USA by 170 runs to book a place in the Plate Championship final. Led by an unbeaten 100 by Andrew de Boorder, New Zealand posted 295-8 after put into bat before dismissing their opponents for 120 in 29.3 overs with seamer Hamish Bennett collecting 4-16. — Agencies