Nepal lose to Afghans in third-place playoffNepal lost to Afghanistan by 71 runs in their third place playoff match of the Quadrangular U-19 One Day Series as the team was undone by opener Reyaz Hassan’s unbeaten century in Lucknow on Tuesday.
Nepal lost to Afghanistan by 71 runs in their third place playoff match of the Quadrangular U-19 One Day Series as the team was undone by opener Reyaz Hassan’s unbeaten century in Lucknow on Tuesday.
Electing to bat first at the Ekana International Cricket Stadium B ground, Hassan carried the bat to make 117 runs leading Afghanistan to what ultimately turned out as the winning total. Nepal batsmen did get the start but they hardly managed to convert them to big total before the team was bundled out for just 173 runs in 45 overs.
It was Nepal’s eighth loss to Afghanistan in the U-19 cricket. The only bright spot for Nepal was their 25-run victory over the Afghans in the league match for a win that came to the country over the Asian archrivals after seven years. India U-19 ‘B’ shocked the ‘A’ team by 10 runs in a low scoring final to claim the title of the tournament.
Nepal had a sluggish start before they lost opener Rit Gautam (14) with 25 runs on board. Another opener Aashif Sheikh finally broke his series of low scores and kept Nepal in the game with a 35-run partnership for the second wicket with Arun Airee. But Rizwanullah broke the partnership removing both the set batsmen in quick succession.
Airee was first to go after making 24 off 48, hitting three boundaries, while Sheikh was the joint top-scorer for Nepal scoring 25 off 47 balls with five boundaries. Nepal then lost Sandeep Zora (18) and Bhim Sharki (16) to get reduced to 98-5 in 27.5 overs.
Pawan Sarraf, who had scored an unbeaten 78 in Nepal’s victory over Afghanistan on Sunday, and Lokesh Bam pushed Nepal towards a respectable total with a 37-run sixth wicket stand—the biggest of the day for Nepal. But once Bam lost his wicket, Nepal’s collapse resumed. Bam made 25 off 46 with four boundaries.
Sarraf scored 23 from 37 balls hitting one four. Hassan was the star performer for Afghanistan as the man-of-the-match picked up 4-42 from nine overs.
Earlier, Afghanistan total was built around Hassan who began with a 40-run opening wicket stand with Sediqullah Atal (13). Hassan glued to the crease and saw wickets fall at the other end as Nepal slightly gained upper hand after Afghanistan were reduced to 106-4 by the 23rd over. The opener, however, resurrected the Afghanistan innings with a 69-run stand with Basir Khan Shir.
Shir scored 32 off 50 with three hits to the fence. Nepal should have closed out the game when they had reduced Afghanistan to 192-6 in the 43rd over. But Hassan held firm and went to stitch a crucial 43-run partnership for the seventh wicket with Aarif Khan Dawlatzai, who made 24 off 20 with a six and a four.
Hassan’s 149-ball marathon innings included 12 boundaries and two sixes. Sarraf, Sagar Dhakal and Samsad Alam picked up two wickets apiece.
In the final match, India ‘B’ were squeezed out for just 141 runs in 42.2 overs after Rajesh Mohanty and SA Desai picked up three wickets each. But a 4-35 from AS Sandhu and 3-32 from Sabir Khan helped them bundle out the ‘A’ team for just 131 runs in 39.3 overs.
Nepal, India and Afghanistan are currently preparing for the ACC U-19 Asia Cup which is scheduled for September 29-October 7 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The three teams are pitted together in Group ‘A’ of the Asia Cup with United Arab Emirates being the fourth team in the pool. Group ‘B’ consists of Bangladesh, Hong Kong, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The Quadrangular Series was organised by the Board of Control for Cricket in India.
Afghanistan U-19 244-8 in 50 overs (R Hassan 117 not out, BK Shir 32; P Sarraf 2-32, S Dhakal 2-28, S Alam 2-42) beat Nepal 173 in 45 overs (A Sheikh 25, L Bam 25, A Airee 24; R Hassan 4-42, R Murad 2-12) by 71 runs
Man-of-the-match: R Hassan (AFG)