Nepali youth team wraps up B’desh tour with sensational victory

Kathmandu, November 5

Nepal U-19 cricket team recorded a six-wicket victory over the Bangladeshi youth side in their third and final friendly match at the Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Prothisthan Ground in Savar, Dhaka today.

Put into bat first, Bangladesh posted 225-7 in their allotted 50 overs before Nepal reached 229-4 in 46.3 overs. Bangladesh, who won first match by three wickets and second by 123 runs, made five changes in their squad.

The victory is Nepal’s first over Bangladesh in 15 years and second overall. The Nepali youth team, led by skipper Binod Das — head coach of the current team — had recorded a 23-run victory in the ICC U-19 World Cup’s Plate Championship semi-final match in New Zealand in 2002.

Bangladesh made a disastrous start as opener Sojib Hossain (six) was trapped leg before the wicket by Anil Kumar Sah in the sixth over with only 15 runs on the board. Saif Hasan (17) and Pinak Ghosh (23) added 33 runs for the second wicket before the former was run out by Nepal skipper Dipendra Singh Airee in the 17th over. Nepal reduced the hosts to 50-3 after Airee bowled Ghosh in the next over.

Aminul Islam, who top scored with an unbeaten 80, shared a 32-run stand with Afif Hossain (18) for the fourth wicket and added another 62 runs for the fifth wicket with Md Rakib, who scored 39 off 36 balls hitting six fours and a six. Islam and Robiul Haque, who scored a quick fire 21 not out off 17 balls with the help of three boundaries, added 53 runs for the unbroken eighth wicket partnership. Islam hit eight boundaries in his 87-ball knock.

Shahab Alam was the pick of the Nepali bowlers claiming 3-45, while Anil Kumar Sah took 2-35 and skipper Airee claimed 1-54.

In reply, Nepal made a brilliant start with openers Jitendra Singh and Asif Sheikh adding 139 runs in 32 overs. Sheikh, who top scored with 90 off 88 balls hitting nine boundaries and three sixes, was trapped leg before the wicket by Saif Hasan in first ball of the 33rd over.

Singh got the chance to open the innings for the first time in three matches after coach Binod Das brought him in place of Sandeep Sunar, who had scored one and three runs in the previous two matches. Das also rested Pawan Sarraf and Rashid Khan, who were part of the Nepali team in the second match on Saturday, and brought in Kishor Mahato and Prakash KC.

Nepal then lost two quick wickets to be 159-3 in 36 overs. Singh, who scored 45 off 109 balls with the help of three fours and a six, was caught by Roni Hossain off Shakhawat Hossain in the 34th over and Anil Kumar Sah, who hit two sixes in his 16-ball 15, was caught by Saif Hasan off Kazi Anik Islam two overs later.

Skipper Airee, who remained unbeaten on 27 off 35 balls hitting three boundaries, shared a 42-run partnership with Rohit Kumar Paudel for the fourth wicket. Paudel cracked three boundaries while added 22-ball 25. Airee and Bhim Sharki then shared 28-run partnership for the unbroken fifth wicket to complete the run chase. Sharki scored 10-ball 13 with the help of one each four and six. Bangladesh’s Roni Hossain, Kazi Anik Islam, Shakhawat Hossain and Saif Hasan claimed one wicket each.

The two teams are preparing for the ACC Youth Asian Cup slated for November 9-20 in Malaysia. Nepal and Bangladesh are drawn in Group A along with India and hosts Malaysia.