Nepal rode on leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane’s five-wicket haul, which included the first hat-trick in the tournament, to beat Ireland by eight wickets and book their maiden berth in the Super League quarterfinals of the ICC Under-19 World Cup in Fatullah. (Sarfaraz Khan, Avesh Khan Take India to Under-19 World Cup Quarterfinals)
Besides Nepal, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka advanced to the quarter-finals.
Nepal and India took the top two spots in Group D, while Pakistan and Sri Lanka advanced from Group B.
Opting to bat, Ireland got all out for a mere 131 for nine and then Nepal, which had stunned New Zealand in their opening match, coasted home in the 26th over with Yogendra Karki making 61.
Lamichhane had Lorcan Tucker and Adam Dennison caught off successive balls in his fourth over and then bowled Fiachra Tucker with his next delivery to complete the hat-trick.
Ireland: 131 for 9, 50 overs (Harry Tector 30 not out; Sandeep Lamichhane 5/27, Dipendra Airee 2/18).
Nepal: 132 for 2, 25.3 overs (Yogendra Karki 61, Aarif Sheikh 31 not out).
Sri Lanka survives a scare
In Sylhet, Sri Lanka survived a tense run-chase by Afghanistan before clinching win, and a place in the quarters.
Skipper Charith Asalanka top-scored with 71 in Sri Lanka’s modest 184 all out, but Afghanistan were bowled out for 151 despite opener Karim Janat’s 40 and Waheedullah Shafaq’s 47.
Kamindu Mendis, who possesses a rare talent of bowling both right-arm off-spin and left-arm orthodox spin, claimed three wickets for 36 runs.
Sri Lanka: 184 all out, 48.1 overs (Charith Asalanka 71; Shamsurrahman Wali 3/19, Karim Janat 2/37, Zahir Khan 2/36).
Afghanistan: 151 all out, 44.5 overs (Waheedullah Shafaq 47, Karim Janat 40; Kamindu Mendis 3/36).
Pakistan cruise past Canada
Meanwhile, Pakistan scored a seven-wicket win over Canada after bowling out the unfancied rival for 178.
Hasan Khan took three wickets and Shadab Khan took two.
The Pakistanis surpassed the target in the 41st over with opener Zeeshan Malik scoring an unbeaten 89 and Saif Badar 44. Zeeshan was later declared player of the tournament.
Canada: 178 all out, 48.3 overs (Bhavindu Adhihetty 51, Abraash Khan 44; Hasan Khan 3/36, Shadab Khan 2/44).
Pakistan: 180 for 3, 40.5 overs (Zeeshan Malik 89 not out, Saif Badar 44).