Defending champions Nepal maintained their 100 % winning streak (save the abandoned match against Thailand) as they chased down a score of just 54 runs by hosts Malaysia to win by five wickets at the Bayuemas Oval on Monday. Although the score may have been their lowest target, Nepal would certainly have been disappointed, but not worried, with their loss of the five wickets.

Malaysia’s entry into the semi-finals came with a combination of above-average performances and a huge slice of luck at times. Malaysia, no doubt, could’ve used some that luck in today’s semi-final against a very powerful and determined Nepal side.

As is the case, Nepal, who prefer to chase down a target rather than putting one up, sent Malaysia in to bat at the Bayuemas Oval. The match was delayed by a half hour or so when officials decided the outfield was still a little too damp.

Starting the game, the Nepal players were all fired up; with players from the slips to mid-off, from deep mid-wicket to deep extra cover fervently and incessantly cheering the bowler on. This went on, and more importantly, this worked for the bowlers throughout their spells.

The Malaysian batsmen, wary of the Nepali pace, started slowly and never really got out of the phase. Openers Shafiq Sharif (4) and Faris Almas (2) fell within the sixth over and Malaysia never really recovered. Aminuddin Ramly (18) came in at two down and was eventually his team’s highest scorer. Ramly may have batted even better had there been support from the other end but the Malaysian batsmen walked out almost as soon as they walked in.

Khadka: A five-wicket haul

When Ramly was dismissed in the 19th over, Nik Azril (3) and Fauzi Ariffin (8) stuck on for 9 overs, but they only managed to add 10 runs to the total. It was all but a matter of time before the hosts crashed to their lowest total of the tournament finishing at 54 after 30.5 overs. A major thorn in the Malaysian flesh was pace-man and Nepalese Captain Paras Khadka (10-1-21-5) who absolutely ripped apart their middle order.

The Nepalese batsmen surely entered with a relatively casual outlook towards the total and took their own time with the runs. A wicket falling in the 9th over wasn’t too much cause for worry but their casual demeanor showed in the 11th and 12th overs where they lost four wickets.

The hosts were never subdued on the field and these four quick wickets were credit to their tight fielding and some brilliant catches. But in reality it all seemed too much for Malaysia as Nepal went on to win by 5 wickets in the 21st over reaching their second consecutive ACC U-19 final.

For his destruction of the Malaysian batting, Paras Khadka picked up his second man of the match award.

Semi-Final 1
Malaysia v Nepal at Bayuemas Oval
Nepal won the toss and chose to field
Malaysia: 54 all out after 30.5 overs (P. Khadka 5-21)
Nepal: 55 for 5 after 20.3 overs (M. Shahrulnizam 3-15)
Man of the Match: Paras Khadka (Nepal)


Filed August 27 2007