Pakistan's U-19 centurions Sami Aslam and Hasan Raza

Pakistan U-19s eased to a 132-run victory against a plucky Nepal side on the opening day of ACC U-19 Asia Cup 2014. “We hit our targets and dominated the game and though Nepal made no real attempt to win the match with the bat they were quite impressive and gave us a decent match,” said Pakistan’s coach Ali Zia.

Pakistan had to dig deep initially, only two boundaries were possible in the first thirteen overs of their innings, as Nepal’s new ball attack of Lalit Bhandari and Ramnaresh Giri bowled a steady length and line on and around the off-stump corridor to the left-handed Pakistan top-order. Muhammad Umar was frustrated out, mistiming a drive to be caught for 10 and if Nepal had held a couple of stinging chances, one of them off Sami Aslam Pakistan would have been in for a real contest. Sami survived though, and thrived on a WACA-type wicket at the ICC Global Academy that had bounce and was full of runs.

Having negotiated the pace, Sami played the spinners well, sweeping, dinking and driving and running well between the wickets to hustle the scoreboard along. Compact and full of authority at the crease, he continued in the same manner in which he played the first ACC U-19 Asia Cup in 2012. Batsman of the Tournament there with 455 runs in 5 innings, he looks set for another big tally this time around. His 108 took 103 balls, with 7 fours and 4 sixes. Hasan Raza and Sami put on 166 for the second wicket, Hassan not quite as fluent as Sami made 100 off 118 balls, the second 50 taking just 36 deliveries.

Nepal were under the hammer towards the end of the innings but medium-pacer Yogesh Kumal bowled well and escaped punishment. Saif Gohar lashed a 50 off just 25 balls and though Nepal held firm in the field, once Pakistan got past 250 with 5 overs to go, they were facing a more than a mountain.

Amit Shrestha made 60 off 107 deliveries

Nepal set their stall out to bat 50 overs, and they did. Openers Sunil Dhamal and Amit Shrestha, without looking too secure at the start of their innings nevertheless managed to put on 76 before Dhamal played a loose drive to spinner Kamran Gulam. Gulam (4-36) pinned Raju Rijal on the back foot next ball too. Bibhatshu Thapa made a stately 22 and Amit Shrestha, with a strong bottom-hand grip, completed a gutsy 60 but Nepal were not in it to win it. Playing 50 overs, even if Pakistan had eased up in the field to the point of lassitude, was a fair achievement.

ACC U-19 Asia Cup 2014

Group A: Nepal v Pakistan at ICC GCA 1
Pakistan won the toss and chose to bat
Pakistan: 311 for 6 off 50 overs (S.Aslam 108, H.Raza 100, Z.Gohar 50*)
Nepal: 179 for 7 off 50 overs (S.Dhamala 39, A.Shrestha 60; K.Ghulam 4-36)
Man of the Match: Sami Aslam (Pakistan)

Tournament Page

Filed December 28th, 2013