Kathmandu, August 26:
Three-time defending champions Nepal meet Malaysia in the semi-final of the ACC U-19 Elite Cup at the Gayuemas Oval, Kuala Lumpur, tomorrow.
Nepal advanced as Group A winner without losing a match but experimentation with the opening pairs could cost them dear against Malaysia, the finalist of last three editions that Nepal won. Nepalâ€™s coach Roy Luke Dias sent three different players to partner Mahesh Chhetri in three games.
Nepal have so far exhibited their excellence in the field but were never tested with the bat as they have always batted second. Nepali bowlers have eased pressure off the batsmen restricting opponents to a low score. Nepal beat Singapore by seven wickets chasing 108 runs and defeated the UAE by six wickets chasing 124. It was even easier against Oman who made just 90. Nepal won by eight wickets.
Gyanendra Malla has been the most successful with the bat scoring unbeaten 47 against the UAE and 58 not out against Oman. Skipper Parash Khadka, who scored 36 against Singapore and 33 against the UAE, is the only other batsman to contribute significantly.
Nepal, however, have the psychological edge over Malaysia as they have never lost against the opponent. The two teams have met in all five previous editions with Nepal winning in all those occasions.
Malaysia was the opponent in the final when Nepal won the championship in 2001, 2003 and 2005. Nepal had also defeated Malaysia in preliminary round in 1997 and in semi-finals in 1999.
Nepal vs Malaysia
Date Result Stage
1997 Nepal won by 15 runs preliminary
1999 Nepal won by one wicket semi-final
2001 Nepal won by seven wickets final
2003 Nepal won by 30 runs, D/L method final
2005 Nepal won by seven wickets final