ACC U-15 Cup Semi-Finals - Mountain Countries Hit The Heights

UAE's Pranav Rai facing Nepal's Shashi Kesari

Nepal won easily against the UAE, Afghanistan were run close by Malaysia but there can be no denying that it is the two teams which have shown the most ability, that have reached the Final of the 2005 ACC U-15 Cup.

Afghanistan after blitzing 267 against Hong Kong the day before, were up against it from the first over of their semi-final match against Malaysia, as previous day centurion Sajid Khan was yorked for 0 by whippy left-armer Mohammed Kasman. Another wicket fell in the next over and at 6 for 2, Afghanistan were reeling.

But Afghanistan have terrific fighting spirit. Hashmatullah and Javed Ahadi set about rebuilding the innings and it was a measure of just how well Malaysia bowled and fielded that in a century stand between them, they only managed two boundaries.

Malaysia never let Afghanistan dominate, though a late flurry by the tailenders took them up to 159. Eminently gettable.

Malaysia themselves were put under pressure initially by Afghanistan's pacemen but weathered the storm to be a comfortable 103 for 3, with captain Aminudin at the crease and the home stretch in sight. But a burst of three wickets for 1 run, set them back mightily and the Afghanis' fierce will win to win prevailed. Malaysia fell short by 32 runs. It had been a very good game.

In the other semi-final, Nepal beat a rather lacklustre UAE team who seemed a little below par in terms of combative energy.

The Final is set up between two well-matched opponets. Nepal beat Afghanistan quite easily in the qualifying round, but as their wily Afghani coach Taj Malik says, "They played us when we had just arrived at 10PM the night before, after a long and difficult journey. We will be better ready for them on Friday."

Match Results

Filed April 21 2005