Nepal thrash Singapore, enter semi-finals

Kathmandu, November 16:

Sharad Vesawkar scored a half-century as Nepal defeated Singapore by 100 runs and entered the semi-finals of the ACC Under-19 Cup cricket tournament here at TU Stadium today.

In other quarter-finals, Qatar beat Bahrain by seven wickets; Kuwait eliminated Hong Kong by two wickets; and Malaysia edged past UAE by 12 runs. In Thursday’s semi-finals, Nepal will take on Kuwait at TU Stadium, while Qatar play against Malaysia at Tundikhel.

Batting first, Nepal accumulated 223 runs losing nine wickets in 50 overs. Openers Kanishka Chaugain and Yashwant Subedi put on 37 runs before Chaugain nicked to Rohan Tripathi at first slip for 24 off 36 balls.

Yashwant then added 52 runs for the second wicket with Sharad Vesawkar, who reached his 50 with a straight drive four in 70 balls. Yeshwant, who scored 30 off 49 balls including two boundaries, was bowled while trying to defend a slower ball.

Sharad then added 62 runs for the third wicket with Gyanendra Malla, who scored 31 off 50 balls hitting three fours before being stumped in a wide ball. At that time, Nepal was placed at 158/3 after 37 overs and was on verge of making a huge score.

Singapore skipper Christopher Janik gave the ball to spinners Rizwan Madakia and Rohan Tripathi wrecked the Nepal’s middle and lower order as the home team lost another five wickets for a meagre 37 runs.

After completing his half-century, Sharad was deceived by a slower delivery from Tripathi in the 42nd over. Sharad hit five fours in his 74-ball 68.

After a dramatic collapse, the ninth wicket pair of Ratan Rauniyar and Mahesh Chhetry added 23 runs before Chhetry was caught at gully for 28 off 34 balls. Ratan hit a four off the last ball to remain unbeaten on 11.

In reply, Raj Shrestha, Ratan Rauniyar and Sharad Vesawkar took two wickets each as Singapore batsmen failed to build partnerships and were packed for 113 runs in 45 overs.

Bantu Bataju made the first breakthrough in his second over when he trapped opener Rohan Tripathi leg before for three runs. Amrit Bhattarai reduced the visitors to 19/2 in the eighth over when he bowled No 3 Christopher Janik (1).

Left-arm spinner Raj Shrestha (2-8), Ratan Rauniyar (2-14), part-time spinner Sharad Vesawkar (2-11) put Singapore batsmen under pressure and claimed wickets in regular intervals to pack them for 123 runs.

At Pulchowk, Bahrain was bowled out for 123 in 34.4 overs. Gayan De Silva, who scored a double century against Brunei in league round, and Karan Kumar scored 25 runs each and Sundeep Sen made 19. For Qatar, Tamoor Sajjad took 4-6 off 2.4 overs. In reply, Qatar overcame the target losing three wickets in 29.4 overs. Omar Arsad top-scored with unbeaten 42 and Faisal Noor scored not out 21.

In Bhaktapur, Malaysia defeated UAE by 12 runs. Batting first, Malaysia scored 176/9 in 50 overs. Opener Faris Rosmanizam scored 35 off 72 balls, while other opener Eszrafiq scored 30 and Manrick Singh got the highest of 43 off 51 balls including five fours. In reply, UAE were packed for 164 in 44.4 overs despite Abdul Rehman’s half century. Opener Rameez Shahzad scored 26, while other opener Rehman hit six fours and a six in his 98-ball 54.

At Tundikhel, Kuwait eliminated Hong Kong by two wickets. Put into bat, Hong Kong scored 179/8. Opener Robert Bacon scored 38 off 107 balls, while other opener James John Atkinson hit six fours in his 92-ball 49. In reply, Kuwait overcame the target losing eight wickets in 45.1 overs, riding on Habibullah Iftikar’s unbeaten 58 off 76 balls.