Sports

Nepal rout China to enter ACC Eastern Region semis

  • The holders win by 10 wickets having bowled out China out for 53
- Sports Bureau, Kathmandu

Jul 4, 2019-

Nepal cruised to the semi-finals of the ACC U-19 Eastern Region cricket  tournament with a 10-wicket drubbing of China a the Kinrara Oval grounds in  Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday.

The defending champions’ passage to the last four was confirmed with the very  first victory after China were eliminated from the three-team Group A. Nepal  were originally schedule to open their campaign on Tuesday against Myanmar but  the team pulled out at the last moment and the organisers rescheduled the  fixtures.

The result also meant Singapore, who defeated China by eight wickets on  Tuesday, joined Nepal in the semi-finals. Friday’s clash between Nepal and  Singapore at the same venue will decide the pool winners. Only the winners of  the Eastern Region Tournament will qualify for U-19 Asia Cup to be held in Sri  Lanka on August 18-September 8 this year. Other teams in the U-19 Asia cup  include host Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, the United  Arab Emirates and Kuwait.

Nepal skipper Rohit Kumar Paudel was happy to get a desired result. “This is a good start for us. The medium pace bowlers were not looking that consistent but the spinners did well. The openers, in reply, did really well to give an easy victory,” said Paudel.  

Asked to bat first after Nepal won the toss, China were bundled out for a lowly  53 runs in 23.1 overs. China’s opener Guohao Gao and Liang Chen contributed  almost half the team’s total, scoring 13 runs each as Sagar Dhakal ran through  their wickets. Gao struck two boundaries in his 24-ball innings while Chen also  hit two fours in his painstaking 43-ball stay in the pitch. None of the other  China bowlers were able to score in double figures.

Dhakal returned with figures of 6-19 off 9.1 overs while Tilak Raj Bhandari  claimed 3-15 off seven overs. Kamal Singh Airee also bagged a wicket for the  defending champions. “Sagar has a huge amount of experience and Tilak also did well in his debut match,” said Paudel adding his team doesn’t want to overthink about Singapore clash.

“I don’t think we need to think much about our opponents. We just make sure that we don’t get overconfident and stick to our basics. We just have to give our best against them. We just have to follow our process. We have rested few players and are willing to give chances to everyone,” Paudel said.

Against the minnows, Nepal had rested experienced fast bowling allrounder Rashid Khan, U-16 skipper Bishal Bikram KC and Kushal Malla and it hardly mattered. Openers Pawan Sarraf and Rit Gautam added more salts to the Chinese wounds hurrying to victory target in just five overs. Sarraf gave a good  batting lesson to the cricketing minnows clobbering six boundaries and three  sixes in his unbeaten 21-ball 46.

Gautam remained unbeaten on run-a-ball 10.  China opening bowling pair Tian Sen Qun and Zhuoyue Chen faced the brunt of Sarraf. Qun went for 33 runs in his three overs while Chen was hit for 16 in  his only one over.

Published: 04-07-2019 08:30

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