Paras powers Nepal into final

Kathmandu, August 27:

Skipper Paras Khadka powered Nepal to a five-wicket win over the hosts Malaysia in the semi-final of the ACC Under-19 Elite Cup cricket tournament at the Bayuemas Oval on Monday.

The right-arm medium pacer Paras completed a five-wicket haul restricting the host to a meagre 54 runs in 30.5 overs after winning the toss and opting to field first. Malaysia, however, made Nepal work hard to reach the target. Not before losing their five top-order batsmen did Nepal got the victory.

Wary of the Nepali pace attack, Malaysia started cautiously but never got the momentum. Openers Mohammed Shafiq Sharif (4) and Faris Almas Lee (2) fell within the sixth over and Malaysia never really recovered. Aminuddin Ramly scored the highest 18 runs for the hosts. Ramly may have batted even better had there been support from the other end but the Malaysian batsmen walked out almost as soon as they walked in.

When Ramly was dismissed in the 19th over, Nik Azril (3) and Fauzi Ariffin (8) stuck on for 9 overs, but they only managed to add 10 runs to the total. It was all but a matter of time before the hosts crashed to their lowest total of the tournament finishing at 54 after 30.5 overs.

Man-of-the-match Paras Khadka ripped apart the Malaysian middle order taking 5-21 in 10 overs.

Left-arm spinner Raj Shrestha claimed two wickets conceding eight runs in 4.5 overs while left-arm quick Amrit Bhattarai and right-arm fast bowler Chandra Sawad bagged one wicket each.

The casual approach for the low target costs Nepal their first wicket in the ninth over when Mohammed Shahrunizam bowled opener Mahesh Chhetri (13). Shahrunizam then dismissed Aakash Kumar Gupta (12) and Shashi Keshari (5) in two consecutive deliveries to leave Nepal at 32-3 after 11 overs.

The very next over, Nik Azril Arifin gave a final jolt to the three-time defending champions with two wickets in two balls. Arifin had Gyanendra Malla (4) caught by Shahrunizam before getting rid of captain Paras for a golden duck the next ball to leave Nepal at 37-5 after 12th over. Antim Thapa (13) and Sagar Khadka (3) guided Nepal home in the 20.2 overs.

Nepal will take on Afghanistan in final for their fourth consecutive U-19 championship on Wednesday. Afghanistan made it to the final after a 40-run win over the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in another semi-final today. Afghanistan scored 255 in 49.3 overs and dismissed the UAE to 215 in 47.2 overs at the Kinrara Oval.



MS Sharif c Mahesh b Paras 4

FA Lee c Mahesh b Amrit 2

M Faizal run out 1

A Ramly c Aakash b Chandra 18

M Shahrunizam c Mahesh b Paras 6

A Faiz lbw b Paras 0

MS Fetri b Paras 1

SA Khan c Rahul b Paras 6

NA Arifin c Mahesh b Raj 3

F Ariffin not out 8

S Ananthasivam c&b Raj 1

Extras: 4 (w2, b1, lb1)

Total: 54 (30.5 overs)

FoW: 1-7, 2-7, 3-12, 4-25, 5-25, 6-27, 7-41, 8-42, 9-52

Nepal bowling: Amrit 9-4-11-1, Paras 10-1-21-5, Chandra 4-1-10-1, Raj 4.5-0-8-2, Rahul 3-2-2-0


Mahesh c&b Shahrunizam 13

Shahshi c Ananthasivam b Shahrunizam 5

Aakash c Lee b Shahrunizam 12

Gyanendra c Shahrunizam b Arifin 4

Paras c Khan b NA Arifin 0

Antim not out 13

Sagar not out 3

Extras: 5 (w5)

Total: 55/5 (20.2 overs)

FoW: 1-18, 2-32, 3-32, 4-37, 5-37

Malaysia bowling: Ananthasivam 1-0-9-0,

Arifin 10-3-25-2, Shahrunizam 8.2-1-15-3,

F Ariffin 1-0-6-0