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Pant onslaught floors Nepal

Rishab Pant smashed the fastest half century in U-19 internationals as India squeezed Nepal dry in their last Group ‘D’ match of the U-19 World Cup with a seven wicket victory.

Yogendra Karki of Nepal U19 bowled during their match against India U19. Photo : ICC 

Nepal finished runners-up in the pool and will now take on the winners of Tuesday’sGroup ‘A’ game between Namibia and Bangladesh in the quarter-finals on February 5.

After a poor start, Nepal struggled to reach 169-8 in 48 overs, the match was reduced by two overs each side due to heavy fog at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium. Coach Jagat Tamatta had claimed he has the best spin attack of the tournament but as the Indian chase began, Nepal were left clueless.

India reached 175-3 in just 18.1 overs where Pant starred with his brutal hitting. Pant gave the best opening wicket partnership with his skipper Ishan Kishan adding 124 runs in just nine overs. The game was effectively over before Prem Tamang bowled Pant.

Pant, who made 18-ball half century, hammered 24-ball 78 and plundered nine boundaries and five sixes. Kishan also completed a half century hitting seven boundaries and three sixes in his 40-ball 52. He lost his wicket to Sandeep Lamichhane. Sarfaraz Khan (21) and Armaan Jaffer (12) completed the formalities. Prem picked up two wickets for Nepal.

Earlier, Nepal lost opener Sunil Dhamala (duck) in the first over before decent contributions from Sandeep Sunar, Rajbir Singh, Prem and Aarif Sheikh took them to a respectable total.

Sandeep made 37 off 73 with four boundaries, while Rajbir made 35 off 68 hitting one four. Prem made 29 off 40 with two fours and a six. Aarif chipped in 26 from 44 with four boundaries.

Avesh Khan picked up 3-34 from eight overs for India with Mayank Dagar and Washington Sundar taking two wickets each.

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