Nepal topple New Zealand in thrilling encounter

File photo – Captain Josh Finnie produced a solid all-round display but it wasn’t enough to prevent defeat © ICC

Group D

Nepal U-19 pulled off a dramatic 32-run win to topple New Zealand U-19 in a thrilling encounter in Fatullah. Nepal posted a total of 238 and then defended it by bowling New Zealand out for 206.

Nepal made a solid start after being put in to bat with the openers putting on 39. However, Nepal were soon reduced to 68 for 3 before captain Raju Rijal (48) and Aarif Sheikh (39) added 61 to bring the innings back on track. Some handy middle-order contributions, including a 23-ball 35 from Kushal Bhurtel helped Nepal to a competitive total. Nathan Smith picked up three wickets but went for 58 runs in his 10 overs.

After a middling start in the chase, Glenn Phillips (52) and Josh Finnie (37) strung together a 72-run stand. However, both fell in quick succession and the innings soon fell apart. It looked like the contest was done before Dale Phillips kept New Zealand in the hunt with 41, and along with Nathan Smith brought the equation down from 95 off 60 to 41 off 24. Dipendra Singh Airee then swung the game decisively in Nepal’s favour with a double strike that effectively killed the match.

Group B

Pakistan U-19 romped to a comfortable six-wicket win in their tournament opener against Afghanistan U-19 in their Group B game in Sylhet. The damage was done early on, as Shadab Khan and Hasan Mohsin combined to take seven wickets and elicit a spectacular collapse as Afghanistan stumbled from 98 for 3 to be bowled out for 126 in the 42nd over.

Tariq, who complied a 76-ball 53, and Ikram Faizi (19) forged a 69-run fourth-wicket stand after the loss of three early wickets. However, the next highest partnership in the innings was 14. Shadab cut through the middle order with figures of 4 for 9 in five overs, and Mohsin returned figures of 3 for 24.

Pakistan lost captain Gauhar Hafeez for 1, but Zeeshan Malik (29) and Mohammad Umar (25) set the innings back on course. The rest of the chase was a canter as Pakistan stormed to the target in the 32nd over. Zia-ur-Rehman picked up two wickets while Rashid Khan, who has already represented Afghanistan on the international stage, claimed one victim.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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