PC: William Sapkota (NCSS)

Nepal began their quadrangular series opener with a humiliating 40 runs defeat chasing a modest and under par 162 runs. The opening pair started very watchfully before getting shattered in the 9th over when Trit Das was caught behind at a score of 8 runs off 24 balls.

This ignited floodgates for youth Indians and brought 3 wickets within a span of 7 overs. Nepal added just 9 runs in that period where India slowly got back to snatch a victory from Nepal’s reach. Bhim Sarki and captain Aasif Sheikh  tried to consolidate with a 38 runs partnership off 51 balls but felt shortly after skipper felt in the tight line and length bowling by India U-19 ‘B’ team.

The  Nepalese top three batsmen couldn’t make double digit numbers and Ravi shah couldn’t meet the expectation scoring 8 miserable runs of 31 balls. A valuable contribution was made from bhim Sarki who fought bravely with his 30 runs of 57 deliveries. Apart from him, Kamal Singh Airee scored 22 runs of 27 balls.

Earlier, Winning the toss, Nepal opted to field first in Ekana International Cricket Stadium B, Lucknow. Nepal have banked on very new and inexperience side, considering upcoming world cup qualifier. Kamal Singh Airee provided first breakthrough for visitor as he sent back Varma (10) inside first power play. Rizvi (05), who came out to bat at no. 3, struggled for 19 balls before Bhim Sharki caught him off Kishor Mahato’s delivery. Opening batsman, Iqbal was holding one end and batting sensibly well but he was lacking support from another end. His 56ball- 50 runs innings finally came to an end when Pawan Sarraf uprooted his stump. India failed to create any innings anchoring partnership during middle overs with highest stand of 25 runs for 4th wicket batween Iqbal and Chouhan (19), barring 31 runs opening stand. In the end, Nepal picked up all Indian wickets, expensing 161 runs in 49 overs.

Pawan Sarraf, one of senior most member of this side, took vital 2 wickets in his fruitful bowling spell of 10 overs, conceding 31 runs. He took care of India’s captain, Murkar (12), and opening batsmen, Iqbal. Sagar Dhakal’s fine spell ended with applaudable figure of 10 overs, 4 maiden, 1 wicket, expensing 24 runs. Medium Pace bowler, Kamal Singh Airee was on the top of wicket takers’ chart with 3 wickets in his tally. He bowled 10 overs, produced 2 maidens and expensed 31 runs. Samsad Alam and Kishor Mahato also registered a wicket each

Nepal U19 require 162 runs from 300 balls to win. If they manage to do so then it would be confidence boosting win for young Nepal’s side where most of the players are representing Nepal for first time, at any level.

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