Avinash Karn picked up eight wickets including a hat-trick as Nepal crushed Bahrain by 196 runs to enter the semi-finals of the ACC U-19 Elite at the Bayuemas Oval in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Monday.
A solid 63-ball 83 from skipper Bhuwan Karki helped Nepal pile up a huge 259-9 in 50 overs. Avinash then starred with the ball returning with the magical figures of 8-24 as Bahrain were dismissed for 63 runs in just 21 overs.
Nepal will now play hosts Malaysia on May 8 in a match which will determine Group ‘B’ winners. Nepal and Malaysia are tied on six points each from three matches with the former sitting on the top on better run rate. No other teams in the group can now overcome the top two teams.
Bahrain had added nine runs after two overs before Avinash wreaked havoc picking up four wickets in the third. After dismissing opener Ikram Nadeem in the second ball, Avinash got rid of Adeel Nasir in the third ball, bowled Jayand Anandkrishnan in the next and completed the hat-trick removing Ubaid Minhas.
It was Nepal’s first hat-trick in the men’s U-19 cricket. Shakti Gauchan has a hat-trick in senior men’s team, while Rubina Chhetry and Karuna Bhandari had achieved the feat in the women’s U-19.
Bhuwan then sent back Mohammed Sameer and Avinash dismissed Cyrus D’Souza and Mubasher Zahoor reducing Bahrain to 12-7 inside seven overs.
Akshya Krisha and Lalith Lal avoided the humiliation adding 32 runs for the eighth wicket before Rahul Pratap Singh dismissed the latter.
Lal made 17 in 23 balls, while Krisha ran out of partners and was unbeaten on 22 off 47. Both batsmen hit four boundaries each. Avinash polished off the tail picking up the 9th and 10th wicket.
Earlier, Nepal made a slow start and lost their in-form batsman Amit Shrestha for 22 runs with 28 on the board from 3.1 overs. Hari Shankar Shah was next to go for 10 with the scores reading 55-2 after 8.4 overs and from there on Nepal’s run rate began to slow down.
Another opener Nischal Pandey (12) was next to go and Nepal saw Bibhatshu Thapa and Nirmal Thapa share a painstaking 43-run partnership from 92 balls. Nirmal was the first to go for 25 from 50 with four boundaries.
Bhuwan then added 58 runs for the fifth wicket with Bibhatsu before the latter fell six runs short of his half century in the 40th over. Bibhatsu hit three boundaries in 92 deliveries. After Bibhatsu’s dismissal, Bhuwan began scoring some quick runs as Nepal collected 89 runs in the last 63 deliveries.
Bhuwan clobbered eight boundaries and three sixes in his 63-ball 83. Pawan Shrestha (13) also scored in double digits.