The Nepal U-19 team notched its second win in the ICC U-19 World Cup to qualify for the quarter-finals alongside Group D table-toppers India. Nepal beat Ireland on Saturday, 30th January, in what was a thoroughly one-sided encounter to keep itself firmly placed in the tournament.
Earlier, Ireland won the toss and decided to bat first. The team managed to put up only 131 runs in the available 50 overs, losing nine wickets in the process. Sandeep Lamichhane was the architect of the Irish collapse, picking up a fifer in the process. Lamichhane finished with figures of 5/27 in his quota of 10 overs. For the Irish boys, Harry Tector was the top-scorer with 30 runs off 65 balls.
Nepal’s chase wobbled a bit right at the start as it lost opener Sandeep Sunar for a golden duck. But Sunil Dhamala and Yogendra Singh Karki stabilised the innings putting up a second wicket stand of 55 runs. Following the loss of Dhamala’s wicket, which was the last wicket to fall for Nepal, Aarif Sheikh and Singh carried on the innings. Both finished unbeaten, Sheikh with 31 runs and Singh with 61 runs to ensure their team’s progress.
For his efforts, Lamichhane was acknowledged as player of the match.
In the Group B match between the Sri Lankan and Afghanistan U-19 teams, it was the former who claimed victory to make their way into the quarter-finals, as table-toppers.
The Afghan bowlers did well to restrict the Lankan team that batted first after winning the toss for 184 runs. The Lankan skipper Charith Asalanka was the top-scorer with 71 runs, while Shamsurrahman was the highest wicket-taker for Afghanistan with a three-wicket haul.
But the Afghan run-chase tottered as the Lankan bowlers kept picking wickets regularly. Opener Karim Janat, who also picked two wickets, contributed 40 runs, while Waheedullah Shafaq, who came in at no. 8, made 47 runs before the Afghanistan chase ran out of wickets, and steam, collapsing for 151, short of the target by 34-runs. Kamindu Mendis picked three wickets, while skipper Asalanka and Damitha Silva picked two wickets each.
For his all-round performance, Asalanka was adjudged as the player of the match.