ACC U-19 Eastern Region: All-round Nepal enter finalOpeners and skipper Dipendra Singh Airee starred as Nepal entered the final of the ACC U-19 Eastern Region cricket tournament with a crushing 10-wicket victory over Malaysia at the Kinrara Oval in Malaysia on Saturday.
Openers and skipper Dipendra Singh Airee starred as Nepal entered the final of the ACC U-19 Eastern Region cricket tournament with a crushing 10-wicket victory over Malaysia at the Kinrara Oval in Malaysia on Saturday.
Airee completed his second consecutive five-wicket haul of the tournament as Nepal bundled out Malaysia for just 121 runs in 42 overs. Sandeep Sunar and Aasif Sheikh struck half centuries as Nepal replied with 125 without loss in 23.1 overs for a thumping win.
The victory puts Nepal just one win away from November’s ACC U-19 Asia Cup which will be participated in by five Test nations - India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan - along with one winner from the Western Region. In the final match on Sunday, Nepal will take on Hong Kong who eased to a seven-wicket victory over Singapore in another semi-final match at the Bayuemas Oval.
Nepal coach Binod Das was happy with the team’s all round performance. “The game went really well for us because the boys played like we were supposed to be doing. We were disciplined in all three departments; a good bowling backed by good fielding was topped by a solid batting display. Overall, I am happy how we are shaping up for the final,” the coach added.
Nepal had an early delight in the game when medium pace bowler Rohit Kumar Paudel removed opener Syed Aziz (five) with 15 runs on the board. But they had to wait for another 16 overs to go into front foot in the match after Nalin de Silva and Virandeep Singh combined for a 49-run second wicket partnership.
Skipper Airee finally struck with his part time off spin having Singh caught behind for 25 off 41 deliveries. Singh hit four boundaries. De Silva was next to go after Shahab Alam had him caught by Paudel in the 26th over as Nepal began taking control of the game. De Silva top scored with 39 runs from 93 balls, his innings including four boundaries and a six.
Ammar Hazalan played some big shots striking an eight-ball 14 with a six and a four but fell to Airee who ripped through the Malaysia middle order. Mohammad Aizat was Malaysia’s next best scorer making a run-a-ball 16 with three boundaries. Airee, who had also picked up five wickets in the second match against Bhutan, returned the figures of 5-29 from eight overs and Pawan Sarraf took 2-11 from four.
Leg spinner Sandeep Lamichhane, who is currently leading the tournament’s highest wicket taker’s table with 13 scalps, was economical in his 10 overs picking up a wicket. Airee is second in the list with 12 and Sarraf is third with eight.
Nepal had a quickfire start as they collected 17 runs from an erratic first over bowled by Syed Aziz. Runs kept on coming for Nepal who reached 52 without loss before the teams headed for lunch. Malaysia failed to come up with a proper plan with Sheikh and Sunar continuing to play with patience for their first half centuries of the tournament.
Sunar made 51 off 77 with eight boundaries, while Aasif scored exactly 50 from 65 balls in his innings studded with eight boundaries and a six. Coach Das was finally relieved that his opening pair has proved themselves.
“They were getting starts in all the matches they have played together previously but failing to convert them into big ones. Today, they showed why they are rated so highly,” Das told the Post from Kuala Lumpur.
Nepal 125-0 in 23.1 overs (S Sunar 51, A Sheikh 50) beat Malaysia 121 all out in 42 overs (N de Silva 39, V Singh 35; D Airee 5-29, P Sarraf 2-11) by 10 wickets
Man-of-the-match: D Airee (NEP)