Nepal U-19 team has started the ICC Asia U-19’s World Cup Qualifiers campaign with a 4 wicket victory against the hosts Singapore. Singapore were bundled up for just 73 runs in 29 overs after they were put into bat by the Nepali skipper Sandeep Lamichhane. In reply, Nepal U-19 chased the total comfortably in just 17.3 overs with 4 wickets remaining.
Chasing a low total, Nepali batting struggled initially as they lost both the openers by the 4th over. Opening batsman, Aasif Sheikh poor run of form continued as he was only able to register a single digit score of 4 runs. The other opener Sandeep Sunar who had a decent tour of India also wasn’t able to contribute to the team as he was caught out for 1 run. However, Pranit Thapa Magar batting at no. 3 scored 23 runs off 26 balls before he was bowled by Ansh Bhargava and Anil shah made sure Nepal would chase the target comfortably by scoring 19 runs off 22 balls before getting bowled out by Aahan Gopinath. Pawan Sarraf who scored 4 runs off 4 balls finished the chase with a boundary to mark Nepal’s first victory in the campaign.
Earlier, Singapore were reduced to 26/7 in the 18th over after a brilliant 5 wicket haul from the skipper Sandeep Lamichhane. Brigu Iyer provided some resistance to the Singapore lower order batsman as he scored 42 runs off just 39 balls with 6 fours and 1 six which led the total to 73 runs. He was bowled out by left arm pacer Kishore Mahato as the final wicket of the Singapore innings.
The Leggy Sandeep Lamichhane was the star of the day who conceded just 21 runs off 8 overs including 2 maidens and picked up 5 wickets. Kishore Mahato contained the batsman initially with some tight bowling as he bowled 3 maidens of his 6 overs picking up 2 wickets and conceding 25 runs. The left arm spinner Shahab Alam joined the party picking up 3 wickets off his 6 overs conceding just 12 runs including a maiden.
In the other match played on the 1st day of the ICC Asia Under-19’s World Cup Qualifiers, Afghanisthan also started their campaign with a thumping win against Malaysia by 8 wickets chasing mere 54 runs in just 5.4 overs.
Nepal will face Malaysia and Afghanistan will face the hosts Singapore in their 2nd match tomorrow.
The winner of the qualifiers will qualify through to the ICC Under-19 World Cup 2018 to be held in January, in New Zealand. Nepal are bunched up with Malaysia, Afghanistan and the hosts Singapore in the qualifiers.