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Nepal surrender to Afghans

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by July 21, 2017 General

Jul 21, 2017-

Nepal surrendered meekly to Afghanistan in a humiliating 141-run loss in their third match of the ICC U-19 World Cup Division 1 Asia Qualifier at the Singapore Cricket Club in Padang on Thursday. 

The defeat was a massive blow to Nepal who are now left with a next to impossible task of making a comeback in the double round robin league tournament that sends only the table-toppers to the 2018 U-19 World Cup in New Zealand. Afghanistan lead the four-team standings with six points, and a healthy run-rate, after the completion of the first round of league games. Nepal are second with four points and the only way they can come back in the tournament is by recording a huge-margin victories in all matches of their return leg.

Nepal managed to restrict Afghanistan to 190 in 49.4 overs, putting brakes to a decent start from their openers. But a burst of opening spell from skipper Naveen-ul-Haq, including a hat-trick, saw Nepal crash to their lowest total in U-19 cricket as the entire team was bundled out for just 49 runs in 26 overs.

Right-arm off-break bowler Mujeeb Zadran removed openers Aasif Sheikh (six) and Sandeep Sunar (two) in his successive overs before Naveen wreaked more havoc. The fast bowler dismissed Dipendra Singh Airee (four) in the fourth ball of the ninth over and followed it up with the dismissals of new-men Pranit Thapa Magar and Anil Sah to complete the hat-trick. Naveen returned again in the 10th over and sent back No 3 batsman Aadil Khan (four) as Nepal lost four wickets in a space of 10 balls. 

Nepal coach Binod Das said the ferocious spell from Naveen turned the tide against his side. “We did well in the first half (with the ball). But in the space of 10 balls we lost top four players and it was not the fault of wicket. Our approach was not good. Our batsmen didn’t play to the situation. Afghanistan are a quality side but we should have put on a much better fight,” said a dejected Das.

After being virtually thrown out of the contest, Pawan Sarraf put some fight making 26 from 52 balls with four boundaries. Man-of-the-match Naveen returned with the figures of 4-8 from four overs, while Zadran took 4-7 from nine overs. Four Nepali batsmen were out for ducks. 

Earlier, Ibrahim Zadran and Naveed Obaid gave Afghanistan a decent start adding 75 runs for the first wicket inside 16 overs. Ibrahim made 43 off 41, while Obaid was cautious in his 56-ball 33. Nepali bowlers managed put brakes on run-flow after getting rid of the openers but the start was enough to help Afghans build on to a total that ultimately proved a way beyond Nepal’s reach. 

Apart from the openers, Tariq Stanikzai was Afghanistan’s next best scorer making 27 off 47. Shahab Alam was the pick of the Nepali bowlers with 3-46, while skipper Sandeep Lamichhane (2-30) and Sarraf (2-19) shared four wickets. Das knows the defeat has left his side virtually out of the tournament. 

“We will take one game at a time now. We as a team are as much hurt as anybody because we have put in our blood and sweat in last month or so but we just couldn’t get going so far. We will try to do our best and see where we stand in the end,” said Das.

Summary

Afghanistan 190 all out in 49.4 overs (I Zadran 43, N Obaid 33; S Alam 3-46, P Sarraf 2-19) beat Nepal 49 all out in 26 overs (P Sarraf 26, A Sheikh 6; M Zadran 4-7, Naveen-ul-Haq 4-8) 

by 141 runs

Man-of-the-match: Naveen-ul-Haq

Published: 21-07-2017 09:00

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