Nepal has entered the final of the U-15 Asia Cup with an emphatic 140-run win over hosts United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the semi-final played at the Dubai Cricket Club Wednesday.
Nepal faces Afghanistan in the final on April 22. It will be the second meeting between the teams, with Nepal having scored a convincing nine-wicket win during the league stage of the competition.
Man of the match Gyanendra Malla scored an unbeaten 73 runs as Nepal amassed 210/8 in the allotted 40 overs. He continued his good form in the second innings claiming two wickets as UAE was bowled out for 70 runs in 39.2 overs. Captain Shashi Keshari led the bowling with four wickets in his eight overs giving away only three runs.
“To say the truth, losing toss did good for us,” coach Roy Dias said. “Our openers did well, and when openers do good, its always good for team. Added to that, Gyanendra batted splendidly.”
Earlier, UAE’s decision to field first, backfired as openers Dipen Shrestha and Anil Mandal, who partnered an unbeaten 104 runs in Nepal’s 10-wicket victory over Qatar in the quarterfinals, continued their good work. They scored at five runs an over until Anil lost his cool after scoring 24 runs.
Dipen scored 45 off 48 deliveries and hit six boundaries before he was stumped off Basheer. Rest of the innings belonged to Gyanendra, who played a 85-ball knock scoring six boundaries and a six. His flawless innings took Nepal to the commanding score of 210.
“I find it difficult to play spinners at first, but later my confidence grew,” Gyanendra said.
Shashi Keshari (22) and Antim Thapa (14) got the right start but didn’t stay long while other tail enders lost their wickets attempting to accelerate the run rate in the final overs.
Chandra Saud bowling during is opening spell. Photo: EmiratesCricket.com
UAE’s reply was disastrous as it lost three quick wickets within 14 runs. Chandra Saud, who took six wickets in the last three matches, again did the trick taking two more while the other one was run out. Only three batsmen, opener Ashish Dingra (10), number seven Rahul Chatwani (11) and number 10 Vignesh Rajan (14), could reach double figures. Their innings could produce only 70 runs with just 21 runs being added for the ninth wicket.
Binod Pandey wrote this report.