Nepal lost to New Zealand by 64 runs in their first match under the ongoing fifteenth edition of the Under-19 World Cup in South Africa.
Chasing the target of 303 runs given by New Zealand in the match completed at Buffalo Park, Nepal managed to score only 238 runs for 9 wickets while batting the entire 50 overs.
Although opener Arjun Kumal contributed 90 runs to Nepal’s batting, other batsmen could not support him for a long time. Kumal hit 12 fours off 104 balls.
Nepal had a bad start as opener Deepak Bohra did not open his account and number three Aakash Tripathi got out after scoring 2 runs. For the third wicket, opener Arjun Kumal and the captain Dev Khanal tried to raise the innings by sharing 59 runs. But Dev was caught out by Oscar Jackson in the sixteenth over to bring New Zealand back into the game. Dev scored 36 runs off 34 balls with the help of 5 fours and 1 six.
After Dev’s wicket, Arjun held one end, but Nepal lost wickets continuously at the other end. Uttam Magar got out without opening his account and Gulsan Jha could add only 2 runs. While Dipak Bohara scored 15 runs, Dipesh Kandel could not open the account. Arjun added 43 runs with Subas Bhandari for the eighth wicket.
Arjun Kumal was caught out by Ewald Schrader when he was 10 runs away from the century. Subas Bhandari, batting at number nine, shared a 25-run partnership with Aakash Chand for the ninth wicket and an unbeaten 37-run partnership with Tilak Bhandari for the tenth wicket, but it was not enough to win. Subas scored 33 unbeaten with the help of 4 fours in 52 balls and Tilak scored 17 runs in 19 balls with the help of 2 fours and 1 six.
In New Zealand’s bowling, Mason Clarke took 3 wickets and Ewald Schreuder and Oscar Jackson took 2/2 wickets.
Earlier, New Zealand batted after winning the toss and scored 302 runs for 8 wickets by batting the entire 50 overs.
Snehit Reddy, batting at number three for New Zealand, made a mammoth score of 147 not out while scoring a century. He hit 11 fours and 6 sixes in 125 balls. Captain Oscar Jackson scored 75 runs. Apart from Tom Jones scoring 33, Luke Watson scoring 14 and Alex Thompson scoring 13 runs, the other batsmen could not score runs in double figures.
Reddy and Jackson shared 157 runs for the fourth wicket after losing 3 wickets for 67 runs.
In Nepal’s bowling, off-spinner Subash Bhandari took the most 3 wickets during which he spent 60 runs in 10 overs. Gulsan Jha took 2 (2/61) and Dipesh Kandel, Tilak Bhandari and Akash Tripathi took 1/1 wicket each.
Under the tournament, Nepal, which is in Group D, is scheduled to play the second match against Pakistan on January 24 and the third match against Afghanistan on January 26.
Pakistan, New Zealand and Afghanistan are in Group ‘D’ of the 16-team tournament where Nepal is.
16 teams were divided into four groups, namely Group A, B, C, D. The top three teams from each group will advance to the Super Six stage. The fourth-placed teams in Group A and D will face each other while the fourth-placed teams in Group B and C will face each other in the placement stage.
In the super-six stage top three teams from Group A and D will be combined in a group while top three teams from Group B and C will combined in another group. Each team will carry forward the number of points, Wins, NRR they have earned against their fellow super-six qualifying teams.
Each team will play two matches in the super-six stage against the opponent from the corresponding group that finished in a different group stage position (i.e. the A1 team will play only D2 and D3 in the super-six. Similarly, A2 will play only D1 and D3 and so forth).
The top two teams from each group in the super-six stage will then reach to the semi-finals