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Nepal recover but not well enough to write history

Sep 06, 2019 | CN Staff |

Nepal recovered, built up and then failed to wag the tail blowing out a solid opportunity to defeat Sri Lank for the first time in any form or age group cricket on Friday, but instead capitulated for a five-wicket defeat.

The decision to bat first at the R Premadasa Stadium in their first match of the ACC U-19 Asia Cup was partially vindicated by skipper Rohit Kumar Paudel himself and a patient opener Rit Gautam. The duo added 91 runs for the third wicket after losing opener Pawan Sarraf (four) and Aasif Sheikh (seven) with just 24 runs on the board.

Rit, who has been in a fine touch for the last few months, rebuilt the innings with his captain in a watchful partnership for the third wicket. Rit scored 54 off 85 balls hitting four boundaries. In a match that was reduced to 42 overs after a brief rain intervention in the ninth over, Rohit was more vigilant making 47 off 80 deliveries with just one hit to the fence.

Despite Rohit's departure, Nepal still had the opportunity to lift the innings with almost eight overs remaining but the late middle order failed in the process. Nepal managed just 24 runs in the last 45 deliveries and lost six wickets to get resitricted to 159-9.

Rashid Khan (15 not out) and Hari Bahadur Chauhan (12) were the only remaining batsmen to make runs in double figures.

The average target gave the cushion to Sri Lankan batsmen to play with ease which they did reaching the target in 33.5 overs. Opener Kamil Mishara led the charge with two crucial partnerships. He added 31 for the second wicket with Rashantha de Silva (15) and 60 for the third with Ahan Wickramasinghe who made 30 off 36 with two boundaries.

Mishara top scored in the match with 55 off 62 balls hitting three fours and two sixes. Avishka Tharindu denied Nepal any fightback with a defiant 44-ball 25 not out that included a six and a four. Rashid Khan produced decent bowling figures of 2-21 from 6.4 overs.

Nepal will now take on another Test playing side Bangladesh where they must register a victory to have any realistic chance of entering the semi-finals. Bangladesh on Friday saw off United Arab Emirates by six wickets. 


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