After more than convincing performance against Sri Lanka, Nepal U19 was clear favorite to beat Malaysia in the last league match of the U19 Asia Cup, but it turned out to be a nail-biting finish.
Chasing Malaysia’s 153, Nepal went down to 107 for 8 in 28th over before Pawan Sarraf and Anil Shah played a patient partnership of 38 runs taking Nepal close to victory. Anil was out for 32 off 66 balls and Nepal needed 9 runs off the last pair. Pawan remained unbeaten on 29 and captain Sandeep Lamichhane kept his nerve to hit the winning run to clinch victory by a wicket.
Avinash Karn, who opened, contributed 29 and DS Airee continued scoring hitting 22. Rohit Paudel (12) was only other batsman to reach double-digit in Nepal’s chase. Virandeep Singh grabbed 3 wickets for Malaysia whereas Syed Aziz, Mohd Hafiz and Mohd Amir each claimed a couple.
But Virandeep’s biggest contribution was in the batting. He single-handled Malaysia to a respectable total scoring 75 off 108 balls. The next big contributor was Mohd Hasif with 21 runs. For Nepal, Aadil Khan took 3/24 while Sandeep and DS Airee grabbed a couple each.
With the win, Nepal finished its campaign in the tournament with a win and two losses – by one run against Sri Lanka and by 6 wickets against India. Both Sri Lanka and India, along with Bangladesh and Afghanistan, reached the semifinals.