Nepal stun three-time champions India

  • Record first ever victory over Test-playing heavyweights after losing five previous encounters

Kathmandu, November 12

Nepal stunned defending champions India by 19 runs in their Group A match of the ACC U-19 Youth Asia Cup at the Bayuemas Oval, in Kuala Lumpur, today.

Put into bat first, Nepal scored 185-8 in their allotted 50 overs before bowling out three-time champions India to 166 runs with 11 balls to spare.

The victory meant Nepal — who faced a two-wicket defeat against Bangladesh in their opening match on Saturday — kept their semi-final hopes alive. Nepal will take on hosts Malaysia in their last group stage match on Tuesday.

The victory against India is Nepal’s first at any level. Nepal had lost five previous encounters — twice in the ICC U-19 World Cup and three times in the ACC U-19 Youth Asia Cup.

Skipper Dipendra Singh Airee was the chief architect of Nepal’s victory against India today. Airee top scored with 88 off 101 balls that included six boundaries and two sixes and returned to take four wickets.

Nepal had a disastrous start with the bat. Opener Aasif Sheikh (three) was dismissed in the sixth over and Anil Kumar Sah (six) fell in the 11th over with just 28 runs on the board. Another opener Jitendra Singh and skipper Airee revived the innings with a 49-run partnership for the third wicket. After Singh, who scored 36 off 95 balls hitting three boundaries, handed a return catch to Abhishek Sharma in the 28th over, Rohit Kumar Paudel (six) followed him back to the pavilion as Nepal were reduced to 129-6 in 41 overs.

Airee then added 31 with Kamal Singh Airee (five) for the seventh wicket. They were dismissed in the space of 12 runs but not before helping their team post a fighting total. Bhim Sharki scored 15 off 22 hitting two boundaries and a six. India’s Aditya Thakare (2-33) and Abhishek Sharma (2-27) shared four wickets between them.

In reply, India made a bright start as openers Himanshu Rana and Manjot Kalra scored 65 runs in 13 overs. Kamal Singh Airee made the breakthrough when he bowled skipper Rana, who scored a 38-ball 46 hitting seven boundaries and a six. Kalra scored 35 off 69 balls that included three boundaries.

India were cruising at 100-4 in 25 overs before Pawan Sarraf and Sandeep Lamichhane claimed two quick wickets to reduce India to 131-6 before they lost their last four wickets for 35 runs. Nepal skipper Airee returned with 4-39, while Sarraf (2-24) and Shahab Alam (2-11) shared four wickets between them.