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U-19 colts post low total but still win

Nepal posted their tournament-low total but still emerged as 53-run victors against Malaysia for their third back-to-back victory in the ACC U-19 Premier in Kuwait on Wednesday.


The victory which ultimately turned out to be a convincing one sends Nepal into their crucial match against Afghanistan on Friday at level terms. Afghanistan and Nepal are tied on six points each from three matches but the former lead the table on better run rate.


The winners of Friday’s match will consolidate the all-important top spot with both teams facing off relatively weaker opponents in the last match of the round-robin-league tournament. The champions of the six-team event will qualify for the 2016 ICC U-19 World Cup to be held in Bangladesh. The runners-up will still get a chance to qualify through continental playoff.


Nepal were bundled out for just 115 runs in 40 overs, a surprise from a team that had amassed 300 plus scores in their first two matches against Saudi Arabia and Kuwait respectively. At one moment it looked Malaysia were taking away the game at 43-3 but a sensation comeback from the bowlers saw them bundled out for just 62 in 30.4 overs.


Nepal however had to go through a testing period with Malaysia trying their every bit to save the match but still went on to lose their last six wickets in 96 balls scoring just seven runs. Arjun Chapagain replaced Dipesh Shrestha to join the pace attack and he delivered with the word go removing two Malaysian batsmen Virandeep Singh and Muhammad Amdam for ducks in consecutive deliveries in the first over.


Sunil Dhamala struck in the second getting rid of Shanvinder Singh for another duck as the scores read 5-3 in two overs. Another opener Abdul Hadi (six) and Anwar Rahman defied Nepali attack with a 38-run stand but the dismissal of the former off Saurav Khanal triggered a Malaysia collapse.


Rahman was next to go for 33 off 38 to experienced spinner Prem Tamanng and his dismissal virtually ended the Malaysia fightback. Rahman hit the only four boundaries of Malaysian innings.


Chapagain took 3-14 from 3.4 overs. Sushil Kandel picked up 2-13 from eight overs and Saurav returned with 2-5 form four. Dipendra Airee also had one scalp.


Earlier, Sunil and Prem began positively for Nepal adding 33 runs for the first wicket but their quick dismissals pegged Nepal back. Nepal struggled in the rest of the game losing Shankar Rana (two), Aarif Sheikh (duck), Yogendra Karki (11), Sandip Sunar (five), Saurav (two) followed by the duck dismissals of Sushil and Arjun.


Skipper Raju Rijal pushed the total to some respectability with a 39 off 56 balls hitting four boundaries. Dipendra was not out on 12 off 18 that included one four. Nepal’s innings read only six boundaries.


Virandeep picked up 3-16 from nine overs for Malaysia. Muhammad Hafiz, Pavandeep Singh and Rahman snapped two apiece.

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