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Allround Nepal stun Black Caps in U-19 World Cup

Nepal produced the first major shock of the ICC U-19 World Cup with a stunning 32-run victory over Test giants New Zealad in Fatullah on Thursday. 

Nepal notched up their highest score in the U-19 World Cup history making 238-7 from 50 overs. The Black Caps, in reply, were bundled out for just 206 in 47.1 overs. 

It was second victory for Nepal in the U-19 World Cup over New Zealand. In their last meeting, Nepal had edged the Kiwis by one wicket to win the 2006 Plate Final. 

The victory on Thursday has also opened up an opportunity for Nepal to enter the second round of the tournament with relatively weaker Ireland along with Test giants India waiting next in Group ‘D’. 

After electing to field first, New Zealand failed to stop Nepal from scoring a challenging total with decent contributions from their entire batting line up. They opened up with a 39-run stand between Sunil Dhamala (15) and Sandeep Sunar. Nepal then lost Yogendra Karki (six) and Sandeep in quick succession before a half century stand from Raju Rijal and Aarif Sheikh consolidated the innings. 

Sandeep made 39 off 67 with three fours and a six. Raju and Aarif shared 61-run partnership for the fifth wicket and the middle order provided a lift at the end of the innings. Raju top scored with 48 off 65 hitting six boundaries. 

Aarif also shared 47 runs for the sixth wicket with Rajbir Singh (24) before he was dismissed for a 60-ball 39 that included three hits to the fence. Dipendra Airee made 16, while Kushal Bhurtel chipped in an important 35 off 23 with five boundaries. 

New Zealand were reduced to 31-2 in 8.2 overs before a 72-run stand between Glenn Philips and Josh Finnie brought them back in the game. Prem Tamang, however, put Nepal in the front foot removing the two set batsmen in a space of five runs. 

Philips made 52 off 68 that included five fours and a six, while Finnie struck 37 off 60 with three fours. After a brief resistance, Nepal put their one foot in victory reducing the Kiwis to 168-7 in 43 overs. 

Nathan Smith, who had also taken three wickets for New Zealand, gave some scare hitting two sixes and a four in his 13-ball 24 that also forged a 34-run stand with Dale Philips. However, Dipendra picked up two wickets in five balls in the 47th over to end New Zealand resistance. 

Philips made 41 off 50 with three fours before he was run out as the last New Zealand wicket to fall. Dipendra finished with the figures of 3-24 from five overs. Sandeep Lamichhane also had one scalp along with Sunil.

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