Nepal U-19 and Afghanistan U-19 did exactly what was required of them to qualify for the semifinals of ACC U-19 Asia Cup in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Nepal U-19 secured an easy eight-wicket victory over Malaysia in their last group match, which was reduced to 24 overs due to the rain, with Malaysia getting bowled out for meagre 45 runs, which the opponents accomplished at the loss of just two wickets in 5.3 overs.
Anil Sah contributed the highest of 26 runs to Nepal’s victory. Earlier, Malaysia had lost all wickets in just 15.3 overs with Sandeep Lamichhane (5/8 off 4.3), Dipendra Airee (2/1 off 2), Shahab Alam (2/3 off 3) ripping apart their batting line-up.
Afghanistan’s match against UAE U-19 was reduced to a 20-overs match also due to persistent rain from the morning.
When the match started, Darwish Rasooli took over the centerstage blasting 105 n.o off only 38 deliveries as Afghanistan U-19 posted a mammoth 224/3 in their 20 overs. Opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz also contributed 59 off 39 deliveries at the start of the innings.
The total was always a tough challenge to chase down and UAE could muster upto 90/9 in their 20 overs to lose the contest by 134 runs. Mujeeb Zadran, Naveen-ul-Haq, Wafadar Momand and Tariq Stanikzai, all collected 2 wickets apiece.
Bangladesh U-19 boys did a Deja-Vu of their senior team’s victory over the Indians in the 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup as they beat the India U-19 convincingly by 8 wickets to finish on top of points in Group A, thus eliminating India from the U-19 Asia Cup.
In a match reduced to 32 overs a side, India U-19 managed to score 187/8 which Bangladesh U-19 chased down scoring 191/2 in 28 overs. Pinak Ghosh (81 n.o off 77), Tawhid Hridoy (48 n.o off 32) and Naim Sheikh (38 off 44) aced the chase giving away nothing to the Indian bowlers.
Nepal U-19 now face Afghanistan U-19 whereas Bangladesh U-19 take on Pakistan U-19 in the Semifinals.