Nepal wait for 2018 fateLose to Pakistan by 122 runs, play seventh place playoff final on February 11
Nepal went down to Pakistan by 122 runs in the fifth place playoff semi-finals of the ICC U-19 World Cup at the Khan Saheb Osman Ali Stadium in Fatullah, Bangladesh on Tuesday.
Pakistan staged a fine batting recovery through Hasan Mohsin and Saif Badar to post their tournament-high 258-8 in 50 overs. Nepal collapsed in their chase before a fighting 65 not out from Prem Tamang pushed the team to 136 all out in 43.5 overs.
The defeat meant Nepal will have to wait for their 2018 ICC U-19 World Cup fate. Since the International Cricket Council is providing tournament’s top-ranked non-Test playing team an automatic qualification to next edition’s World Cup, Nepal and Namibia are both fancying the opportunity. Namibia will play their fifth place playoff semi-finals against England on Wednesday and will need to produce another big upset of the tournament to earn 2018 berth in New Zealand. A defeat for Namibia will mean Nepal face the fellow Associate nation in the seventh place playoff final on February 11 for the New Zealand tickets.
Nepal were lauded for putting a brave fight against Bangladesh in the quarter-finals which they lost by six wickets but not before troubling the hosts. But on Sunday, their fight lasted until the first half of Pakistani innings before Mohsin and Badar took away the game.
Aarif Sheikh reduced Pakistan to 3-2 in the fifth over, removing openers Mohammad Umar and Gauhar Hafeez for ducks. Dipendra Airee got rid of Hasan Khan (13) at 30-3 in 13.2 overs as Pakistan struggled at the start. Mohsin and Badar rebuilt the innings cautiously before cutting lose from the 30th over when Pakistan were 112-3. The two batsmen notched up a match-winning 189-run partnership for the fourth wicket to turn the tide.
Mohsin completed his century in 95 balls and Sandeep Lamichhane finally ended the stand removing Badar for 88 off 118 balls that included six boundaries and a six. As Pakistan were heading towards a big total, leg spinner Lamichhane applied brakes by removing Hasan and Salman Fayyaz (14) in a single over. Hasan made 117 off 106 in an innings studded with eight fours and three sixes. Sheikh returned the figures of 2-22 in his unbroken 10-over spell, Lamichhane grabbed 3-53 from his 10. Airee took 2-44 from eight.
Hasan returned with his medium pace for an allround performance picking up four of the first five Nepali wickets to fall for 29 runs in 10 overs. Raju Rijal (15) moved to double figures before falling prey to Saif Ali.
Himanshu Dutta, who was replacing Rajbir Singh, had a bad start to his first match of the tournament losing his wicket to Mohsin for a duck. Sheikh managed just one, while Airee (8), Sunil Dhamala (7), Sandeep Sunar (4) and Kushal Bhurtel (duck) also fell cheaply.
Nepal were heading towards their lowest total in U-19 World Cup at 67-8 in 20.4 overs before Tamang saved the blushes. He forged Nepal’s highest partnership with Sushil Kandel (10) - 44 for the ninth wicket - before being stranded on 65. Tamang hit 11 fours and a six in his 91-ball innings. Man-of-the-match Mohsin took 4-42 from 10 overs and Irfan Liaqat snapped up 2-30 from his 10.