Nepal win, close in on semi-final berthNepal all but secured a semi-final berth in the ACC U-16 Eastern Region cricket tournament with a 39-run victory over Malaysia at the Prem Tinsulanonda International School grounds in Chiangmai, Thailand, on Wednesday.
Nepal all but secured a semi-final berth in the ACC U-16 Eastern Region cricket tournament with a 39-run victory over Malaysia at the Prem Tinsulanonda International School grounds in Chiangmai, Thailand, on Wednesday.
.The second successive win in Group ‘A’ meant Nepal top the standings with four points. Malaysia currently hold the second place with four points but have played all three group games. Nepal had defeated Myanmar by seven wickets in the first match on Saturday.
Barring a heavy defeat against hosts Thailand on Thursday, defending champions Nepal are assured of one of the two semi-final berths from the pool. In case Thailand defeat Nepal, all three teams including Thailand and Malaysia will be tied on four points and the net run-rates comes into play to decide the two semi-finalists. Currently Nepal have a massive edge in run-rate over the two teams. Nepal failed to capitalised on the strong foundation laid by their top-order batsmen to be dismissed for 141 runs in 34.5 overs. However, they responded with a brilliant bowling to restrict Malaysia for 102 in 33.2 overs.
Openers Deepak Bohara and Arjun Kumal made a cautious start putting on 37 runs for the first wicket in 10 overs. Nur Hakim Sahar broke the partnership having Bohara caught by Muhammad Amirul Asraf. Three overs later Kumar also fell prey to Asraf. Both the openers scored 16 runs each. While Bohara consumed 25 balls to score the runs, Kumal was even slower taking 47 balls to score his runs.
Aaish Bhattarai and Bishal Bikram KC then took charge scoring runs with ease but their hard work was undone by some excellent Malaysian bowling as five of the other Nepali batsmen failed to reach double figures. Bhattarai top scored with 42-ball 34 with five hits to the fence, while KC struck 28 with two boundaries in his 3—ball innings. Nikhil Kumar Singh (12) and Suwash Ayer (11) were the only other batsmen to score runs of any note.
Sidharth Karthik was pick of the Malaysian bowlers with 4-28, while Lokman Nur Hakin Sahar and Sachinu Hettige took two wickets each. Skipper Sharveen Surendran led the lonely battle for Malaysia scoring a battling 46 off 80 balls. Coming at No 4, the Malaysian skipper remained unbeaten. Wan Ahmad Asyraf also scored a painstaking 17 and Kishan Kumar made 11 in a hapless Malaysian batting performance.
Prashant Mahat, Ramesh Kurmi and Tilak Raj Bhandari claimed two wickets each for Nepal. Prashant Singh and Nikhil Kumar Singh also grabbed a wicket each for the defending champions. Nepal had lifted the ACC U-16 Eastern Region title defeating Singapore by 71 runs on December 17, 2017.
Nepal 141 in 34.5 overs (A Bhattarai 34, Bishal Bikram KC 28; S Karthik 4-28, LNH Sahar 2-29, S Hettige 2-22) beat Malaysia 102 in 33.2 overs (S Surendran 46*; R Kurmi 2-8, P Mahat 2-8, TR Bhandari 2-16) by 39 runs
Man-of-the-match: S Surendran
Team M W L NR Pts NRR
Nepal 2 2 0 0 4 2.417
Malaysia 3 2 1 0 4 0.664
Thailand 2 1 1 0 2 0.886
Myanmar 3 0 3 0 0 -2.913
Team M W L NR Pts NRR
Singapore 2 2 0 0 4 2.986
Hong Kong 3 1 1 1 3 0.919
Bhutan 3 1 2 0 2 -1.199
China 2 0 1 1 1 -2.086