On Sunday, Nepal fell agonisingly low of drawing a shock win over Bangladesh in the ACC U-19 Asia Cup match at the P Sara Oval grounds in Colombo on Sunday.
Set in to bat first following Bangladesh won the toss, Nepal posted an excellent 261-8 in 50 overs by half-centuries from Pawan Sarraf and Sandeep Jhora. Holding left out for the ACC Eastern Region Qualifiers, Jhora had a period to determine and the batsman came up with a bright belt to support his team post a respectable score on the board.
Openers Rit Gautam and Sarraf performed a careful start to their innings settling on a 45-run platform for the first wicket. Gautam scored 32 of them before falling his wicket to Rakibul Hasan in the 14th over, his 53-ball knock comprised three fours and a six.
Asif Sheikh united Sarraf in the centre but was out for just three runs. Sarraf and Kushal Malla then figured 39 runs for the third wicket to join the Nepali innings.
Malla made 28 off 33 balls with three sixes and a four and captain Rohit Kumar Paudel (14) and Bhim Sharki (21) chipped in runs in between, it was Jhora whose blazing knock launched Nepal’s total. Jhora slammed three sixes and as several four in his blistering 37-ball 56. Tanzim Hasan Sakib and Shanin Alam took two wickets respectively, while Mrittunjoy Chowdhury, Rakibul Hasan, Minhazur Rahman and Towhid Hridoy claimed one wicket each for the Tigers.
“We did compete well today but the 37th over of the second innings was where we let them off,” stated Nepal coach Binod Das.
“An easy run-out opportunity and a dropped catch in that particular over cost us the game. We are playing against teams that have plenty of match exposure and if we allow them chances, they will make us pay. Lots of positives to look forward to. Good to have Jora fit in time to play this game, Pawan’s knock and Sagar’s spell with the ball were top class.”
Nepal seemed to be drifting towards victory following Rashid Khan and Kamal Singh Airee caught a wicket individual to decrease Bangladesh to 19-2 by the fifth over. But Bangladesh lived up to the billing as a Test-playing country making their way back into the game thanks to their next four batsmen, particularly the skipper Akbar Ali.
Mahmudel Hasan Joy and Hridoy began the fightback by placing on a 79-run company for the third wicket.
Nepal is still in the race for the semi-finals produced they beat the United Arab Emirates in their third and latest Group ‘B’ match on Tuesday.
Though, that risk is too primitive to count regarding the large gap in net-run rate within second-placed Sri Lanka and Nepal.