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Aarif, Aashish shape Nepal’s victory

Nepal routed Malaysia by eight wickets in the ACC U-19 Premier at the Bayuemas Oval in Kuala Lumpur on Monday.

Electing to bat first, Malaysia were all out for 75 in 38 overs after Aarif Sheikh ran riot in the middle order. A half century partnership between Aashish Dhami and Rajbir Singh steered Nepal to 77-2 in 14.4 overs.

The win put Nepal at the second place with four points behind leaders Afghanistan who have six. The group leaders after the round robin league will be declared the champions.

While Malaysia also have four points from three matches to stay third on run rate, Kuwait and UAE have two points each with one victory to their name. Saudi Arabia are yet to win a game.

Nepal lost opener Sunil Dhamal (three) early in their chase but Aashish and Rajbir steadied the ship with a 62-run stand for the second wicket to take Nepal closer to victory. Rajbir was out for 33 off 38 with five boundaries and when he was dismissed Nepal were just three runs away from victory.

Aashish, playing his first match of the tournament, hit the winning runs in his unbeaten knock. Aashsih made 38 not out from 40 ball with six hits to the fence. Aarif was yet to open the wicket when Aashish hit the winning runs.

Nepal had a desired start when Dipesh Shrestha dismissed Virandeep Singh (four) in the fourth ball of the day. The Malaysian innings crumbled soon after as they kept losing wickets at regular intervals. Aarif picked up 4-18 from 10 overs, while Sushil Kandel took one but he was very economical conceding just eight runs with six maiden overs. Dipendra Airee also picked up 2-11 for Nepal.

Virandeep’s brother Pavandeep top scored for Malaysia making 17 off 72 with two boundaries. Vimatan Palaniandy (12) and Shankar Satish (13) were other batsmen to make runs in double figures.

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