Mirpur – Record breaking innings from India’s Rishabh Pant helped India to secure an emphatic victory over Nepal by 7 wickets in their last group match of ongoing ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2016 at Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur.
After the win, India tops the table in group D with 6 points while Nepal stays at second position with 4 points and both qualify for the quarters.
The foggy morning and the wet outfield delayed the start of the play and resulted in 48 overs a side match. The toss was crucial and India won it, not surprisingly they opted to bowl.
A near disaster start for Nepal U19 as Avesh Khan took the edge of opener Sandeep Sunar’s bat in the first ball of the inning but the ball didn’t carry to the slip fielder. He was out for a first-ball duck in Nepal’s last game against Ireland. That didn’t help Nepal’s cause either as other opener Sunil Dhamala lost his wicket in the fifth ball of the same over for duck.
Yogendra Singh Karki & Skipper Raju Rijal had a torrid time in the middle and went for 7(15) & 6 (26) respectively. Aarif Sheikh (26), Raj Bir Singh (35) and Prem Tamang (29*) contributed to the modest total of 169/8 alongside Dipendra Singh Airee (1), Kushal Bhurtel (6) and Sushil Kandel (3) in their 48 overs.
Fast bowler Avesh Kumar rattled with pace to claim three wickets for 34 in his 8 overs for India while Mayank Dagar and Washington Sundar grabbed two wickets each.
India’s left-handed opener Rishabh Pant smashed record breaking 74 off 24 deliveries including 9 fours and 5 sixes to complete the chase in just 18.1 overs. His 50 off 18 balls recorded the fastest half-century in the history of under-19 internationals.
Indians lost their three wickets in quick succession but the blistering inning from Pant and pacer Avesh Kumar highlighted the day for them. Prem Tamang was lucky to grab two wickets while leggie Sandip Lamichhane got a consolation.
“The team had taught a lesson on what to expect when playing against superior sides”, Nepal’s captain Raju Rijal said. “The competition in the quarter-finals will obviously be very tough and today’s match was a good experience for us.”, he added.
Nepal will play their Super League quarter-finals against Bangladesh-Namibia winner on February 5.
Scores in brief:
Group B: Afghanistan beat Canada by four wickets in Sylhet
Canada 147 all out, 50 overs (Arslan Khan 38, Abraash Khan 33; Muslim Musa 3-31, Shamsurrahman Wali 3-21)
Afghanistan 149-6, 24.1 overs (Tariq Stanikzai 56, Ihsanullah Janat 31; Miraj Patel 3-17)
Group D: India beat Nepal by seven wickets in Mirpur
Nepal 169-8, 48 overs (Sandeep Sunar 37, Rajbir Singh 35; Avesh Khan 3-34, Mayank Dagar 2-32, Washington Sundar 2-20)
India 175-3, 18.1 overs (Rishabh Pant 78, Ishan Kishan 52)
Group D: New Zealand beat Ireland by four wickets in Fatullah
Ireland 212 all out, 47.5 overs (Jack Tector 56, Adam Dennison 46; Rachin Ravindra 3-36, Josh Finnie 3-20)
New Zealand 213-6, 40.1 overs (Finn Allen 97, Dale Phillips 58; Rory Anders 4-32)