Nepal lost to Pakistan by 132 runs in their opening Group ‘A’ match of the ACC U-19 Asia Cup at the ICC Academy Oval 1 on Saurday.
After centuries from skipper Sami Aslam and Hassan Raza propelled Pakisan to 311-6 in 50 overs, Nepal were squeezed out for just 179-7 in their 50 despite openers Sunil Dhamala and Amit Shrestha providing a decent start.
Amit and Sunil added 76 runs for the first wicket in 22.4 overs and that was only the relief for Nepal who rather took a defensive approach playing all 50 overs rather than to go for the target. Sunil was batting with a positive language until his soft dismissal off Kamran Ghulam sent the opener back to the pavilion.
Sunil made 39 off 70 balls with five boundaries. Ghulam put Nepal on backfoot after dismissing Raju Rijal for a golden duck in the very next ball reducing Nepal to 76-2. Amit added another 51 runs with Bibhatsu Thapa but it was a partnership that consumed too many deliveries putting pressure on the team itself.
Zia-ul-Haq ended the partnership trapping Amit leg before for 60 in the 38th over. Bibhatsu was next to go in the first ball of the next over for 22 off 52 hitting one boundary. Amit hit six boundaries in 107 balls.
Skipper Bhuwan Karki and Aarif Sheikh added another 40 runs where the former showed some aggression hitting four boundaries making 25 off 34. Bhuwan scored 19 off 23 with two boundaries but when aggression was shown, the match was already out of Nepal’s hands.
Kamran Ghulam took four wickets for Pakistan, while Karamat Ali had two scalps.
Earlier, Nepal were on top when fast bowlers took control of the match impressing with their line and length. Ram Naresh Giri bowled a tight line and removed Muhammad Umair (10). Everything was going right for Nepal until the 20th over before Bhuwan was hit for a six and for by Aslam.
Sami kept on scoring runs at will and along with Raza combined for a 166-run stand for the second wicket. Sami smashed four sixes and six boundaries in his run-a-ball 108, while Raza made 100 off 118 with seven boundaries and a six.
Zafar Gohar did the late damage for Nepal smashing 50 off 26 with three sixes and four boundaries. Left arm medium pacer Lalit Bhandari took 2-56 for Nepal and Ram Naresh had 2-66 in his 10 overs. Yagya Man Kumal was the most economical taking 1-45 from 10 overs.
Nepal will play against India at the same venue on Sunday.