Nepal fall prey to weather’s cruelty
Apr 14, 2019-
Rain dealt hammer blow in Nepal’s ambition of making their eighth U-19 World Cup after they lost to the United Arab Emirates by one run under Duckworth/Lewis method in the Asia Qualifier in Malaysia on Saturday.
In a six-team round robin league where only the table toppers qualify for the next year’s age group cricket’s global show-piece in South Africa, the defeat has seemingly evaporated Nepal’s hopes of making it through with UAE now posing favourites for their remaining three matches. UAE, who had beaten Malaysia by five wickets on Friday, will now meet Kuwait, Oman and tournament minnows Singapore.
With identical eight-wicket victories over Oman and Singapore, Kuwait are the surprise table toppers on net run rate after they were tied on four points with UAE. Nepal are ahead of Oman on net run rate with both teams scripting two points apiece.
Put in to bat first at the Kinrara Oval, half centuries from Hari Bahadur Chauhan and Bhim Sharki lifted Nepal to 247 all out in exactly 50 overs. UAE were 122-3 in 30 overs when the teams were taken off due to lightning and 10 minutes later continuous rain washed out the remainder of the day with UAE declared the winners.
Nepal coach Binod Das was completely shattered to be on a losing side. “The match was nicely poised but it’s unfortunate to end up on the other side of the coin. I don’t know what to say but we are absolutely shattered. UAE needed 126 runs in 20 overs with their best batsmen gone and under these circumstances, we will back ourself any day to defend that,” Das told the Post from Kuala Lumpur.
Nepal had a solid start in their defence reducing UAE to 21-2 but a century stand between Ansh Tandon and Vriitya Aravind brought them back in the game. Sagar Dhakal removed Tandon as Nepal found ways to claw back to the game before the weather deteriorated and players were taken off the field. Das said the century stand was not a problem for his side.
“We were able to peg them back with run rate creeping over six an over. To their credit, they held their nerves and took the game deep,” said Das adding the chances are now slim for his side to finish atop the table. “It’s going to be very tough but we can’t do much about it. The weather here is tricky so we have to make sure we keep ourself in contest by winning all the remaining matches.”
Tandon top scored for UAE with an 85-ball 54 before he handed a return catch to Dhakal. Aravind was unbeaten on 47 off 82. Both batsmen hit four boundaries each. Kamal Singh Airee also took a wicket for Nepal.
Earlier, Nepal lost opener Pawan Sarraf (12) with 22 runs on the board and another opener Rit Gautam tried to consolidate the innings with a 47-run partnership with Aasif Sheikh who scored 27 off 38 with five hits to the fence. Nepal suffered a mini collapse when they lost skipper Rohit Kumar Paudel (18), Sundeep Jora (four) and Gautam to be precariously placed at 115-4 in 25.3 overs.
Sharki and Chauhan then rebuilt the innings with a 92-run sixth wicket partnership. Sharki played with his usual grit making 53 off 54 with four boundaries and two sixes. Man-of-the-match Chauhan was unbeaten on 67 from 74 balls with seven fours. Gautam contributed 44 runs to total hitting three boundaries in his 73-ball innings.
Risabh Mukherjee took 4-64 and Muhammad Farazuddin had the figures of 3-52 from 10 overs. Nepal will next play Malaysia in their third match on Monday.
UAE 122-3 in 30 overs (A Tandon 54, V Aravind 47 not out; S Dhakal 1-15, KS Airee 1-26) beat Nepal 247 all out in 50 overs (HB Chauhan 67 not out, B Sharki 53, R Gautam 44; R Mukherjee 4-64, M Farazuddin 3-52) by one run under D/L method
Man-of-the-match: HB Chauhan (NEP)
Published: 14-04-2019 08:41