Nepal lost to Malaysia by six wickets and will return from what turned out to be the worst performance from the four time champions in the ACC U-19 Elite Cup.
After being deprived of a place in the 2014 ICC U-19 World Cup following their 96-run loss to the United Arab Emirates in the semi-finals, Nepal had a chance to salvage some reputation by winning the third place playoff but that was not to happen.
Against a team whom Nepal had never lost against in the past, Nepal were bundled out for 118 in 44 overs. Malaysia – who were crushed in the group stage by Nepal – reached the target in 38.3 overs.
Ahmad Ismail top scored for Malaysia with 34 runs from 68 deliveries, while Muhammad Ramil was their next best scorer on 31 not out. Avinash Karn took two wickets for Nepal becoming the most successful bowler from the country in any form of cricket.
Avinash took his tournament tally to 24 wickets surpassing Rahul Kumar BK’s 21-wicket performance in the previous edition in 2011 in Thailand.
Ram Naresh Giri and Prem Tamang also picked up one wicket each for Nepal.
Earlier, the flop show from opener Nischal Pandey prompted coach Jagat Tamatta to send Nirmal Thapa to open the innings for Nepal but that hardly worked. Nirmal (12) headed back to pavilion when Nepal had added just 17 runs on the board.
Another opener Amit Shrestha and Hari Shankar Shah tried to steady the ship with a 44-run stand for the second wicket. Hari Shankar collected some quick runs before losing his wicket for 25 runs from 35 balls. Hari Shankar hit three boundaries.
Hari Shankar’s dismissal triggered a huge collapse in batting order and Nepal added only 57 runs losing their remaining nine wickets. Amit made 32 off 76 with one boundary, while other Nepali batsmen failed to reach double digits.
Kogilan Muthu took three wickets for the hosts, while Varun Nadesh, Pavandeep Singh and Ramli had two scalps apiece. The victory was also Malaysia’s first against Nepal.
Afghansitan meanwhile crusied to their second consecutive title with a 10-wicket victory over UAE in the final. Both teams have already qualified for U-19 World Cup to be stage in the UAE next year.