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Allround Pratish steers Nepal into final

Nepal entered the final of the ACC U-16 Eastern Region cricket tournament with a 72-run victory over Malaysia at the Terdthai Cricket Grounds in Chiang Mai, Thailand on Saturday.

Nepali batting slipped for the first time in the tournament after they were restricted to 127-8 in a match reduced to 34 overs. But they bounced back with the ball to skittle out Malaysia for just 55 runs in 21.1 overs.

Pratish GC was the man-of-the-match after he produced an allround display picking up three wickets and pushed Nepal to what turned out to be a winning total.

Nepali batsmen had enjoyed fireworks when they amassed a mammoth 350 runs against Myanmar for a huge 337-run victory in their last group stage game on Thursday. They, however, struggled on Saturday crawling to triple figures, thanks to a late lift from Pratish.

Pratish, batting at No 8, top scored with 25 runs from 22 deliveries with a six and a four. Sunil Bhandari and Narayan Joshi made 17 runs each. Narayan hit two sixes in 22 deliveries and Sunil struck two boundaries in his 19-ball 17.

Bishal Bikram KC (15), Trit Raj Das (13), skipper Rit Gautam (11) and opener Rajan Magar (11) were other batsmen to cross double figures. Mohammad Afiq picked up three wickets for Malaysia with Aslam Khan Malik also getting two wickets.

Malaysia struggled throughout their chase and kept losing wickets at regular intervals. Surya Tamang was the pick of the bowlers taking 4-12 from seven overs with three maiden. Pratish returned the figures of 3-23 from six overs.

In the final on Sunday, Nepal will meet Singapore who had beaten Hong Kong by eight wickets in another semi-final of the day.

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