Nepal’s start to the ACC U-19 tournament couldn’t have been any better. After bowling out Singapore for 107, Nepal’s batsmen reached the target in 20.4 overs winning by seven wickets.

On winning the toss and electing to bat, Singapore’s opening pair of Rohan Tripathi (8) and Adhir Menon (6) looked shaky right from the get-go and it took just five overs before Tripathi fell to a great catch by wicket-keeper Mahesh Chettri. The top order batsmen were constantly troubled by the Nepalese attack and by the end of the tenth over Singapore were at 24 for 3.

James Muruthi (18) and Jayanth Ganapathy (32) were two batsmen who steadied Singapore’s collapse. Keeping a cool head both of them stayed at the crease and played some masterful strokes. The fall of Muruthi and Timothy Singham (0) in the 23rd over saw the introduction of Rizwan Madakia (14*).

Rahul Kumar bowls against Singapore at the
Selangor Turf Club

A 33-run partnership ensued between the pair of Ganapathy and Madakia who seemed to be content with just the odd single here and there. Rahul Kumar’s (3-19) orthodox bowling left batsmen guessing and the first to fall to his trickery was Ganapathy who floated the ball to Gyanendra Malla for a simple catch. The number 104 was certainly not a lucky one for the Singaporeans as three wickets fell on that score without the scoreboard moving. Madakia was soon left without a partner at the other end as just two overs and three runs later, Singapore were all out for 107.

A target of 107 was never going to trouble Nepal, who possessed great depth and experience in their squad. The batsmen played their shots fluidly and in the process were rewarded with a number of boundaries. Although Nepal lost three wickets, the batmen; Mahesh Chettri (15), Raj Shrestha (14) and Gyanendra Malla (25) added runs to the scoreboard. Captain Paras Khadka (36*) smashed 36 from 32 balls, all his runs coming from boundaries (four 4’s and two 6’s).

Nepal’s Coach, Roy Dias, said “It is always nice to win the first game of a tournament, but we could’ve done better. We were surely the better side and we did deserve to win but there are areas that need tightening up.”

Nepal finished the game in the 21st over comfortably. With bowling figures of 2 for 21 and the highest scorer for Nepal on 36*, Paras Khadka was chosen as the Man of the Match.

Nepal v Singapore at Selangor Turf Club
Singapore won the toss and elected to bat
Singapore: 107 all out after 40.2 overs (J. Ganapathy 32; R. Kumar 3-19)
Nepal: 108 for 3 after 20.4 overs (P.Khadka 36*; R. Madakia 3-33)


Filed August 20 2007