Nepal defeated Iran by a huge margin of 274 runs in the ACC Under-19 Premier Cup tournament, which started today in Malaysia.
Chasing the target of 354 runs given by Nepal, Iran lost all wickets for 79 runs in 30.5 overs. Left-arm spinner Dipesh Kandel and off-spinner Subash Bhandari took 3 wickets each, and right-arm pacers Hemant Dhami and Akash Chand took 2 wickets each to end Iran’s innings. Opener Amer Khorsand contributed the most 37 runs for Iran.
Earlier, Nepal lost the toss and scored 353 runs in 40.1 overs.
Their innings began with the dismissal of opener Arjun Kumal on the first ball, followed by Akash Tripathi, who scored just 3 runs. However, opener Deepak Bohara and Dev Khanal formed a formidable partnership, adding 166 runs for the third wicket.
Dev Khanal was the star, amassing 100 runs in just 60 balls, featuring 12 fours and 4 sixes. This marked his second century for the U-19 national team, and he achieved it in just 59 balls before getting caught attempting a big shot on a full toss. Khanal had previously scored a century (125) against Kuwait in the U-19 World Cup Asia Qualifier held in February. He became the first player to score two centuries for Nepal’s under-19 team.
Opener Bohara contributed 65 runs from 59 balls, and Deepak Dumre added 69 runs off 44 balls. Dipesh Kandel chipped in with 29 runs, Hemant Dhami scored 23, and Akash Chand made 19.
In the bowling of Iran, Salman Niazmand and Dadrahman Raeisi took 3 wickets each, and Zeid Raeisi and Samaan Sheikhi took 2 wickets each.
Nepal is scheduled to play the second match against Bahrain on October 15 and the third match against Saudi Arabia on October 19.
A total of 16 teams are participating in the competition. The teams have been divided into 4 groups. Nepal is in Group A with Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and Iran. Group B consists of UAE, Oman, Qatar, and China. Group C consists of Singapore, Kuwait, Thailand, and Maldives. Group D consists of Hong Kong, Malaysia, Japan, and Indonesia.
After all the teams have played 1/1 matches with each other in the group stage, the best teams from all four groups will play the semi-finals.