In the ACC U-16 East Zone Cup cricket tournament held on Friday, Nepal defeated Malaysia by a margin of 84 runs. With this victory, the Nepali team, Group A, secured a spot in the semi-finals of the competition.
In the final match of the group stage, Nepal faced a defeat against the home team Malaysia, who advanced to the semi-finals as the runners-up. Thailand, who had previously been eliminated from the tournament, were unable to qualify for the knockout stage.
In the game on Friday, Nepal won the toss and elected to bat first, scoring 183 runs before being all out in 33.4 overs. In response, Malaysia managed to score only 99 runs before being all out in 30.5 overs. The bowlers performed exceptionally well in Nepal’s victory. Despite losing early wickets in the first innings, the batsmen failed to set a significant target against the opposition within the given time.
Nepal’s opener, Ashok Dhami, played a crucial knock of 52 runs in a challenging situation for the team. He faced 36 balls, hitting five sixes and three fours. Opener Suryansu Koirala returned to the pavilion after scoring 29 runs. He hit five fours in his 26-ball innings. With Nepal’s total score reaching 50, the team lost three valuable wickets.
In the match, opener Niraj Kumar Yadav got out for eight runs, and Deepu Kumar, who came in at number three, couldn’t surpass 15 runs. Wicketkeeper batsman Aashish Luhar couldn’t score until his dismissal. Naren Bhatta scored 29 runs while Santosh Yadav got out without scoring, and captain Abhishek Tiwari couldn’t go beyond four runs. Kirtik Kamat contributed 16 additional runs to the team’s total.
Pratik made two runs, and for the eighth wicket, there was a partnership of 45 runs between Ashok Dhami and Naren Bhatta. This was the highest partnership for Nepal. After that, for the ninth wicket, there was a partnership of 39 runs between Ashok and Kirtik. The touring team scored an extra 24 runs. Malaysian bowlers Haiqwal, Muhammad Akram, Areen Aqeel, and Muhammad Muqri took two wickets each. Muhammad Fathul Fatri also took one wicket.
In Malaysia’s innings, Nepal’s bowler Ashok Dhami single-handedly took four wickets, eventually earning the title of Player of the Match. Abhishek Tiwari also took three wickets, while Santosh Yadav claimed two. Kirtik Kamat also took one wicket. Malaysia’s wicketkeeper-batsman Muhammad Hairil scored the highest 25 runs, while captain Muhammad Alif contributed 15 runs. Muhammad Akram scored 12 runs.
Overall, Nepal dominated the match with an impressive performance and secured a place in the semi-finals, showcasing the team’s strength and determination in the tournament.