Nepal set final date with Ireland
- The two sides meet in last league-round match on Wednesday
- Champions earn next year's ICC U-19 World Cup berth
Kathmandu, October 19
Nepal advanced to the ICC Under-19 World Cup Qualifier final with a six-wicket victory against United States of America in Duckworth-Lewis system in the league match at the Kinrara Academy Oval in Kuala Lumpur today.
Nepal invited USA to take the strike after skipper Raju Rijal won the toss and bowled USA out for 109 runs in 46 overs. In reply, Nepal raced to 114-4 in 17.5 overs. The match was reduced to 48-over-a-side after rain interrupted play when the USA were 80-7 in 35 overs. Nepal got the revised target of 109 runs in 48 overs.
With their third straight win, Nepal accumulated six points to remain at the top of the table. Ireland, who also recorded their third consecutive victory, are at the second position on inferior nett run rate. The two teams advanced to the final with one match to spare as other sides cannot top them. Uganda and the USA have two points, while PNG are yet to open their accounts.
Nepal will meet Ireland in the last league-round match on Wednesday, a day before the two sides contest in the final. The winners of the final match will join 10 Test-playing nations along with other qualifiers Afghanistan, Canada, Fiji, Namibia and Scotland in the ICC U-19 World Cup slated for January 22 to February 14 next year in Bangladesh.
Nepal made a mediocre start to the run chase with openers Sunil Dhamala and Shankar Rana sharing 20-run partnership inside three overs. Rana was the first to go for 12 off eight balls with two fours. Dhamala and Yogendra Singh Karki then added 39 runs for the second wicket. Dhamala struck two boundaries in his 24-ball 17, while Karki
remained unbeaten on 53 off 46 balls with 11 fours. Saurav Khanal struck two fours and a six in his 12-ball 16. Mohak Buch claimed two wickets for the USA, while Anirudh Srinivas and Alex Shoff claimed one each.
Earlier, the USA were not comfortable playing against Nepali pacemen in the initial stage of the match. Their highest partnership was 21 runs for the third wicket between Kushal Ganji and Sagar Patel. Opener Patel top scored for the USA with 44 off 105 balls that included three fours and a six.
Tohidul Islam (14) and Gaurav Patnakar (11) were the other USA batsmen who scored in double figures. Prem Tamang was the pick of the Nepali bowlers with the figures of 5-31 in his nine-over spell, while Aarif Sheikh grabbed two wickets. Dipendra Airee and Sushil Kandel took a wicket each.
Menaehile, Ireland made it three in a row with a 158-run victory over Uganda. Batting first, Ireland scored 255-8 in 50 overs before packing Uganda for 97 in 23.5 overs.