In a nail-biting finish, Sri Lanka beats Nepal by a run on the inaugural day of the Under 19 Asia Cup as Nepal suffered a heartbreaking loss after playing deservedly well to give the home team a hard fight.

Nepal was cruising at 196 for 5, before Sri Lanka dragged the game back to claim the last five wickets for 30 runs. Needing 8 runs to win in the final over with one wicket in hand, Dipendra Singh Airee hit 6 off second ball of last over to bring down the equation to 2 runs off 4 balls to win, but lost his cool playing across the line next ball that struck his pads. He was given out on 90 – last man out for Nepal as Sri Lankan players celebrated the victory.

Nandan Yadav and DS Singh Aireee after the loss. Videograb Image.

Nandan Yadav and DS Singh Aireee after the loss. Videograb Image.

At the end, Nepal was bowled out for 226 runs in 49.3 overs with man of the match Airee making 90, Avinash Karn 40, Aadil Khan 39 and Prakash KC 14. Sri Lanka had earlier scored 227 for 8. No other batsman reached double-digit although Airee’s cousin Kamal Singh Airee struck a six in his 9-run knock to release some pressure in last stage of the match.

Nepal began horrendously losing both openers for five runs – and it looked like a Test nation thrashing an Associate. However, Aadil ensured it was not a case batting till 21st over. But it was Airee and Karn, who with the highest partnership of the match, took Nepal in gripping distance to the victory. The pair added 84 runs together before Karn was caught on the boundary.

Earlier, Nepal invited Sri Lanka to bat first and took a wicket off the first ball. Kamal was the man who struck Vishva Chathuranga plumb. But then the home team batted steadily while Nepali bowlers bowled sensibly to ensure that the honors are even at the break.

Sri Lanka made 227 for 8 in 50 overs – probably a few runs less than they had anticipated before the match. Hasitha Boyagoda was the top contributor with 83 whereas Ashen Bandara (48 not out) and Krishan Arachchige (28) added some runs. For Nepal, Kamal took 3 wickets and Pawan Sarraf got two.

Nepal will play India on December 16.