Nepal faced 76 runs defeat against UAE in the semi final match of the ACC Elite Cup, played today at Byeumas Oval Ground, Kuala Lumpur. The loss means that Nepal will miss out the 2014 U19 World Cup to be held in UAE. On the other hand Nepal’s arch rivals in Asian Cricket Afghanistan have made it to the World Cup defeating Malaysia in the other semi final.
Winning the toss Nepal choose to field first, the decision was backed up by the bowlers at least initially getting 3 UAE batsmen for just 32 runs.
D’D Souza and S Chopra then added 171 runs for the fourth wicket. Nischal Pandey finally got the breakthrough for Nepal getting Chopra for 114 of 115 balls at UAE’s score of 203 runs in the 41st over. Karn then bowled Souza for 58 as UAE lost their fifth wicket for 229. Sajid Khan, captain Rohit Singh and Jay Joshi then gave the final push to the score in the late overs scoring nearly a run a ball 26 n.o 15 and 7 to take the score to 271/7, Yagayaman Kumal getting rid of Jay Joshi in the last ball of the innings.
Avinash Karn was amongst the wickets once again as he bagged 3 wickets but was a tad expensive giving away 65 runs in the 10 overs. Bhuwan Karki, Shushant Bhari Nischal Pandey and Yagayaman Kumal grabbed a wicket a piece. Captain of the Nepali U19 team Karki had given away just 29 runs in his 10 overs.
Chasing a massive target Nepal made a bad start losing Nischal Pandey for a duck on the 3rd ball of the chase without a run on the board. Amit Shrestha and Harishankar Shah added 48 runs for the first wicket. Amit who had gained recognition as an aggressive batsman with quick runs in the ACC Elite Cup did not show his usual intent in the match today and added just 12 runs of 21 balls before falling to Joshi.
Bibhatsu Thapa who then joined Harishankar made 3 runs before getting out to D’Souza. The duo added slow 15 runs in the in 5 overs. Nirmal Thapa and Harishankar Shah then steadied Nepal’s innings scoring runs at brisk rate and boundaries every over. Nepal received the biggest blow of the match when left the field retired hurt for 52 in the 21st over.
Nirmal was then joined in the crease by Pawan and the pair added 20 runs for the 4th wicket. Then the Nelson got better of the Nepali team as the team lost two back to back wickets on the same score, first Nirmal 23 and then Harishankar Shah for 52 the very next ball.
Bhuwan Karki 41 and Avinash Karn’s unbeaten 19 run got Nepal to slightly respectable total. Nepal were eventually bowled out for 195 in the 47th over, 76 short of UAE’s total. D’Souza grabbed 4 wickets for UAE while S Gir got two. Jay Joshi, J James, Rohit Singh and Tahir Sultan all got a wicket a piece.
S Chopra was declared the player of the match for his match winning century.
The equation for all the participating teams was very wearisome right from the start, with UAE in the World Cup as host only the winner(or the runner up if UAE made it to the finals which they did) would make it to the World Cup.
Nepal had won the ACC Elite Cup four times in 2001, 2003 2005 and 2009(Known as Youth Asia Cup when Nepal won in 2001 and 2003).ACC Elite Cup had been direct pass for the World Cup entry as two top teams of the tournament featured in the U19 World Cup. The format was slightly changed last year as the two top teams(Nepal and Afghanistan) first competed in the ICC U19 World Cup Qualifier for te World Cup spot.
Nepal has been losing its grip in the U19 Elite Cup not winning the cup since 2007. Nepal finished 3rd in 2009 and 2nd in 2011 edition of the tournament.
Nepal will miss the U19 World Cup second time in six years. Since first appearing in the U19 World Cup in 2000 Nepal has played the World Cup 6 times missing out only in the 2010 edition where Afghanistan and Hong Kong beat Nepal for the first and second place of the Elite Cup to play the World Cup.
Nepal will now take on Malaysia for the third place of ACC Elite Cup tomorrow. Nepal had defeated Malaysia in the final group stage