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Raju smashes first U-19 ton in four years to hand Nepal victory

Raju
Rijal became the first U-19 batsman to score a century in four years as
Nepal defeated Uganda in the ICC U-19 World Cup Qualifiers in
Kuala
Lumpur on Friday.

Electing
to bat first, Raju played a captain’s knock making 101 off 115 balls lefting
Nepal to 242-7 in 50 overs. The medium pace attack
of Dipesh Shrestha
and Aarif Sheikh destroyed the Uganda top order to bundle out the
opponents for just 71 in 36.2 overs.

It was Raju’s fine knock
that gave a lot to cheer to Nepali cricket as
the ton in Nepal’s age
group cricket came four years after Faizlur Rahman Khan had slammed a
century against Qatar during the ACC U-19 Premier held in Bangkok.

He also joined Shakti
Gauchan, Kanishka Chaugain along with Khan in
the list of centurions to
slam century in U-19 cricket. He now holds a record as the first U-19
skipper to slam a century.

Raju’s century was highlight
of the day as he rebuild Nepal innings
with two big partnerships after
Nepal lost openers Sandeep Sunar (two) and Sunil Dhamala (seven) in a
space of two runs by fifth over.

Raju shared 84 runs for the
third wicket with Yogendra Karki who
scored 30 off 76 with two
boundaries. After Yogendra lost his wicket, Raju partnered with Aarif
Sheikh for a 90-run stand to take Nepal into a strong position.

Raju’s innings included
seven boundaries and a six that brought off
Derrick Bakunzi to complete
his century when he was batting on 94. He was dismissed off the same
bowler in the same over in the fourth ball of the 43rd over.

Aarif, meanwhile, went on to
complete a half century making 54 off 59
that included four boundaries.
Rajbir Singh made a run-a-ball 13 with a six. Bakunzi picked up 3-54 for
Uganda.

Uganda were dealt a hammer
blow in their chase when Dipesh and Aarif
ran riot in the top order
reducing them to 13-5 in 11 overs. Shrestha took 3-25 from seven overs.
Bakunzi and John Gabula tried to keep Uganda in the game with a 28-run
stand before Dipendra Singh Airee dismissed the former to resume the
collapse.

Gabula
was unbeaten on 25 off 76 deliveries with three boundaries and
Bakunzi
(18) was the only remaining batsman to make runs in double figures.
Aarif finished with 2-1 from 5.2 overs with Dipendra and Prem Tamang
taking two wickets apiece.

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