Nepal lose to Bangladesh in thriller

Kathmandu, November 11

Nepali youth team faced a two-wicket defeat at the hands of Bangladesh in their Group A match of the ACC U-19 Youth Asia Cup at the Kinrara Oval in Kuala Lumpur today.

Bangladesh won the match under Duckworth-Lewis method after the match was interrupted twice due to rain.

In the match which was reduced to 43-over-a-side after a delay of around two hours, Nepal were invited to take first strike. Nepal were batting at 167-6 in 40.1 overs when the match was halted again.

When the match resumed, Bangladesh were handed a revised target of 181 runs from 40 overs. Bangladesh reached the target with one ball to spare, thanks to some sloppy fielding from Nepali cricketers.

Nepal reached the fighting total after Bhim Sharki top scored with a quick fire 40-ball 44 runs, while Rohit Kumar Paudel contributed 40 off 54 balls. Sharki hit two boundaries and three sixes, while Paudel cracked two each four and sixes.

Nepal made a disastrous start with the bat as opener Jitendra Singh (six) was caught by Mohammed Saif Hassan off Hasan Mahmud in the seventh over with 25 runs on the board, while Anil Kumar Sah, who scored 19 off 22 balls hitting three fours and a six, was dismissed in the 13th over, also caught by Saif Hassan off Nayeem Hasan.

Similarly, Aasif Sheikh, who scored 30 off 52 balls with the help of three boundaries, was stumped by Mahidul Islam Bhiyan Ankon off Nayeem Hasan in the 21st over and skipper Dipendra Singh Airee (12) was trapped leg before the wicket by Afif Hossain Dhrubo to reduce Nepal to 70-4 in 24 overs.

However, the pair of Sharki and Paduel anchored Nepali innings with a 79-run stand for the fifth wicket before the latter was bowled by Qazi Onik Islam in the 38th over. Prakash KC (four) and Kamal Singh Airee (six) were at the crease when the torrential rain disrupted the match for the second time.

Bangladesh’s Nayeem Hasan claimed 3-33, while Hasan Mahmud, Qazi Onik Islam and Robiul Haque took one wicket each.

In reply, Bangladesh made a brilliant start with openers Md Naim Sheikh and Pinak Ghosh (24 off 40) adding  47 runs before Kamal Singh Airee made the breakthrough in the 13th over, trapping the latter leg


However, Naim Sheikh, who top scored with 52 off 82 balls that included three boundaries and a six, added 36 runs for the second wicket with skipper Mohammed Saif Hassan (12) to keep the momentum going.

Anil Kumar Sah got the prized wicket of Nain Sheikh, caught by Bhim Sharki in the 27th over and Bangladesh lost two more quick wickets as Nepal sniffed victory reducing them to 122-5 in 32 overs.

Afif Hossain Dhrubo, who scored 33 off 39 balls hitting one each four and six, and Mahidul Islam Bhuiyan Ankon, who scored quick-fire 20-ball 23 with the help of a six, added all important 48 runs for the sixth wicket to take the match away from Nepal.

Nepal affected a run out dismissing Dhrubo at a time when Bangladesh needed 11 runs from the last eight balls. Kishor Mahato had Qazi Onik Islam caught by Sandeep Lamichhane for a duck in the fifth ball of the 39th over and Mahidul Islam Bhuiyan Ankon scored one run from the last ball of the over.

Kamal Singh Airee added excitement in the match when he bowled Mahidul Islam Bhuiyan Ankon in the first ball of the last over and that brought two completely new batsmen to the crease with Bangladesh needing 10 runs from the remaining five balls.

Nayeem Hasan scored a boundary in the second ball and added one more in the next ball, while Robiul Haque hit a four in the fourth ball and added another run to complete the victory with one ball to spare.

Nepali team head coach Binod Das said his side lost the match despite fighting hard. “We played very well as we were able to make a comeback, with both ball and bat, against a Test-playing nation. But the luck was not on our part and the result just did not come our way. The batting effort at the middle was commendable,” said Das.

The former national team skipper Das said his side will take the positive from the match in the upcoming encounter with India. “We will take the match in positive note for the next match. India is a strong side and we will have to start everything from the scratch. We will try to play our best cricket tomorrow,” he added, on the eve of the match at the Bayeumas Oval.