Afghanistan ended Nepal’s decade-long dominance in the Asian non-Test U-19 level registering a six-wicket win that stopped the four-time champions from entering the finals for the first time in 10 years.
Nepal, aiming to clinch the ACC U-19 Cup fifth time in a row, bowed out at the Hubara Ground, Kuwait.
After losing to Bangladesh in the finals of the 1999, Nepal had lifted the cup in 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2007. Man-of-the-match, Aimal Wafa remained 61 not out to deny the defending champions an entry into the final. Chasing a target of 187 runs set by Nepal at the loss of eight wickets, Afghanistan completed the chase in 47.1 overs with the loss of four wickets. Asgar added 47 runs.
For Nepal, Prithu Baskota led with the bat to put up a total of 186 runs. Baskota scored 81 runs while captain Gyanendra Malla added 31 runs. Likewise, Hamza Hotak shined with the ball for Afghanistan ending with the figure of three for 18.
“It is an end of an era of Nepal’s dominance in the U-19 cup. The other teams are better prepared that we were for the tournament. The senior players specially the batsmen have disappointed me,” coach Roy Dias commented after the match,” We did not have enough runs on the board for the strong Afghan batting line up. This is not the strongest team I have. The Afghans played well.”