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Avinash continues to impress as Nepal top group

Right arm seamer Avinash Karn continued to impress as his six-wicket haul helped Nepal finish Group ‘B’ winners in the ACC U-19 Elite with a crushing seven-wicket victory over hosts Malaysia at the Bayuemas Oval in Kuala Lumpur today.

Avinash – who had taken a hat-trick in his eight-wicket haul in Nepal’s 196-run victory over Bahrain on Sunday – took six wickets that saw the hosts bundled out for 69 in 22.4 overs. Nepal though lost three wickets in reply but they were barely troubled to reach 70-3 in 24.4 overs. 

Nepal will go into the semi-finals finishing group winners with eight points from four matches and remaining unbeaten in the league campaign. Malaysia ended up second with six points.

Hari Shankar Shah remained unbeaten on 28 off 42 for Nepal and shared 40 runs for the third wicket with Bibhatsu Thapa after the team lost openers Amit Shrestha (10) and Nischal Pandey (seven) with just 20 runs on the board from 8.3 overs. 

Hari Shankar hit one boundary in his sensible 42-ball innings, while Bibhatsu’s 44-ball 17 included three hits to the fence before Pavandeep Singh got rid of him. Nirmal Thapa was unbeaten on three before Nepal reached the target. 

Earlier, Avinash gave his third man-of-the-match performance in four matches to destroy the Malaysian batting order. Malaysia were quickly pushed to the back foot after being reduced to 9-5 inside seven overs as their decision to bat first backfired.Avinash took four of them, while skipper Bhuwan Karki had one. 

Bhuwan picked up his second wicket getting rid of Kogilan Muthu as Malaysian scorecard read 19-6 after 10 overs. Amiruddin Azahar (15) and Shankar Satish (four) took the scores to 36 before Sushan Bhari removed the former. 

Avinash returned and took the wickets of Satish and Velumurugan Muthu as Malaysia headed towards a humiliating score at 44-9 in 16.1 overs. With the two wickets Avinash took his tally to 19.

Dhivendran Mogan offered some resistance adding 25 runs for the last wicket with Pavandeep Singh (five) but Yagyaman Kumal ended Nepal’s wait dismissing the latter.

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