Kathmandu, August 20:

Skipper Paras Khadka scored an unbeaten 36 as Nepal opened their title defence with a seven-wicket win over Singapore in the opening-day match of the ACC Under-19 Elite Cup Cricket Tournament at the Selangor Turf Club in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia today.

Electing to bat, Singapore were bowled out for just 107 runs in 40.2 overs and the three-time defending champions Nepal chased the total losing three wickets in 20.4 overs.

Rahul Kumar BK made his perfect international debut with 3-19 off eight overs. BK, the only player in the squad without previous international experience, stole the limelight when he dismissed Singapore’s highest scorer Jayanth Ganapathy (32) and had two others for ducks. Skipper Paras, Chandra Saud and Raj Shrestha claimed two wickets each.

James Murthi (18) and Mohamad Rizwan (14 not out) were the only other two Singaporean batsmen who reached the double figures.

In reply, opener Mahesh Chhetry and Raj Shrestha put on 35 runs in seven overs before Singapore had the first success with the ball. Wicketkeeper-batsman Chhetry was bowled by Mohamad Rizwan for 15 off 27 balls including three boundaries. Shrestha (14) departed soon and Nepal were 36-2. Gyanendra Malla and Paras then shared a stand of 52 runs for the third wicket before Malla became the third victim of Rizwan in the 17th over.

That brought Antim Thapa to the crease along with Paras, the hard-hitting duo finished off the match. Man of the match Paras hit two sixes and four fours in his 32-ball innings, while Antim remained unbeaten on 10 off 13 balls hitting two boundaries. Nepal will play against the UAE at Kinrara Oval on Wednesday.