Kathmandu, September 6
Sri Lanka defeated Nepal by five wickets in the rain-hit match of the U-19 Asia Cup at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo today.
Electing to bat first in a match that was reduced to 42-over-a-side, Nepal posted 159-9 and the home team had reached 159-5 in 33.4 overs when rain forced the players off the field. No further play was possible and Sri Lanka won the match under Duckworth-Lewis method.
Nepal made a disastrous start with the bat with opener Pawan Sarraf (four) losing his wicket with just 16 runs on the board and Asif Khan (seven) followed soon. Rit Gautam and skipper Rohit Kumar Paudel revived the innings with 91-run partnership for the third wicket. Navod Paranavithana separated the pair when he had Gautam caught by Madushanka for 54 off 85 balls that included four boundaries.
Skipper Paudel fell short of half century by three runs before handing a return caught to Ashian Daniel. Paudel played a patient knock hitting a four in his 80-ball 47. Rashid Khan (15 not out) and Hari Chauhan (12) were the other batsmen who contributed in double figures as Nepal lost six wickets for 23 runs. Dilshan Madushanka (3-23) and Navod Paranavithana (3-26) shared six wickets between them for the home team, while Ashian Daniel and Rohan Sanjaya claimed one each.
In reply, the home team also failed to make a desired start after Rashid Khan had Navod Paranvithana (12) caught by Hari Chaudhan with just 22 runs on the board. Sagar Dhakal then reduced the hosts to 53-2 in the 10th over after he bowled Ravindu Rasantha for run-a-ball 15. But Kamil Mishara and Ahan Wickramasinghe turned the match around with a 60-run stand for the third wicket.
Nepal did respond removing both of them in the space of two runs before skipper Nipun Dananjaya Perera and Avishka Tharindu not only steadied the ship but also took the team close to victory with a 40-run partnership for the fifth wicket.
Mishara top scored with 55 off 62 balls hitting three fours and two sixes, while Wickramasinghe struck two boundaries in his 36-ball 30. Tharindu remained unbeaten on 44-ball 25, while skipper Perera scored 31-ball 18. Rashid Khan took 2-21 for Nepal, while Pawan Sarraf, Kamal Singh Airee and Sagar Dhakal claimed one wicket each.
In another Group B match, Bangladesh defeated the United Arab Emirates by six wickets. Batting first, the UAE were all out for 127 runs before Bangladesh raced to 128-4 in 28 overs.
Nepal will play against Bangladesh at the P Sara Oval on Sunday and will wrap the league campaign with a match against the UAE on September 10. India, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Kuwait are in Group A. In the opening day matches on Thursday, India beat Kuwait by seven wickets, while Afghanistan registered a shock 85-run victory over Pakistan. Top two sides from both will advance to the semi-finals after the group round.
A version of this article appears in print on September 07, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.