Nepal qualified for the global qualifier for the ICC U-19 World Cup reaching the final of the ACC U-19 Elite Cup with a six-wicket victory over Qatar in the semifinal at AIT Ground.
Nepal will meet Afghanistan in the final at TCG on February 10 in a bid to win the title for the fifth time. Two years ago, Afghanistan had beaten Nepal in semifinal ending the 10-year dominance at the tournament.
At AIT, Nepal won the toss and invited Qatar to bat first. After a good start, Qatar flattered against Nepali spinners and were all out for 113 in 47 overs. Nepal chased down the target in 20 overs losing four wickets.
In five overs before lunch, Nepal lost openers Subash Khakurel and Faljur Khan. Subash was trapped leg-before by Qatari captain Tamoor Sajjad who chose to open bowling with spinners.
Sajjad caught Faljur off Mohd Khan. Faljur scored 19 off 12 balls. From 24/2, Sagar Pun and Naresh Budayer denied further damage adding 82 runs for third wicket.
Sagar was out 8 runs short from target and Rajesh Pulami was bowled round-the-leg the first ball he faced. Pradeep Airee hit two sixes to finish things up in 20 overs.
Earlier, man of the match Rahul BK took 4/20 to wreck the Qatar innings that had got a good start. Bhuwan Karki supported well with two wickets – taken in two balls and including the first-ball wicket of Sajjad. He just gave away 12 runs in 10 overs to keep them pinned.
Two run-outs at the end concluded the innings at 113 leaving Omar Istiaq unbeaten on 22. Saad Khan topscored for Qatar with 26.
Afghanistan beat Hong Kong by 7 wickets in the other semifinal. Defending champions Hong Kong has scored 133 runs.
Brief scorecard: Qatar 113 all out in 47 overs (Saad Khan 26, Omar Istiaq 22*, Rahul BK 4/20, Bhuwan Karki 2/12) lost to Nepal 119 for 4 in 20 overs (Naresh Budayer 41*, Sagar Pun 36, Faljur Khan 19, Pradeep Airee 12*) by 6 wickets.
Prithu Baskota injured
Nepali captain Prithu Baskota tore his ligament while fielding against Qatar and had to be rested for three weeks. He will not be able to play the final and vice-captain Rahul BK will lead the team in the final.
Prithu was stretched out of the ground and taken to hospital where it was revealed that he only had the ligament tearing and no fracture. He returned to venue at lunch.