DAY 4: NEPAL: DISCIPLINED AND ACCOMPLISHED


  • Afghanistan v Nepal: Start delayed - Umpires' inspection at 0230 hrs
  • Morning dew is still heavy on the field, and the umpires AK Rana of Thailand and Ramani Batumalai of Malaysia are likely to wait just a little bit longer before declaring play possible
  • The game will still be a 50-overs a side match if it starts by 0300hrs GMT
  • Afghanistan have named their team for today: Shir Shirzai, Najibullah Zadran, Aftab Alam, Mohammad Yamin, Younas Khan, Mohibullah Paak, Dawood Bahram, Hashmatullah, Sahidi, Afsar Khan Zazai, Abdul Rashid, Rahmatullah Sahaq (12th Man: Amanullah Amin)
  • Nepal's team today: Prithu Baskota, Rahul Vishwakarma, Avinash Karn, Sagar Pun, Fazlur Rahman Khan, Pradeep Airee, Bhuvan Karki, Krishna Karki, Subash Khakurel, Rajesh Pulami, Naresh Budhayer (12th Man: Shivkumar Tandukar)
  • Both teams evenly matched, Afghanistan have a little more strength in depth in batting perhaps, with a more potent new-ball attack but on this AIT wicket, which plays low and slow relative to the one at TCG on which both teams have played so far, Nepal's advantage in spin should pay dividends.
  • It really should be a good contest by both teams' U-19 cricketers, who are looking to emulate the success of their seniors in Asian Cricket Council competition
  • TOSS: Nepal won the toss and have elected to field
  • Match will start at 0245hrs GMT, in seven minutes from now
  • It'll be a 50-overs match notwithstanding the 15-minute delay in starting because of the dew, and batting first on a wicket where there are still some damp spots will be difficult. Nepal's spinners will be a handful but the pace bowlers first up should be skidding through and causing problems for the Afghan batsmen.
  • It's not a 'win the toss and win the game' situation but it's certainly a good toss to win and Nepal have taken the early advantage
  • Players have taken the field, Avinash Karn LFM to start from the University End, Afsar Khan Zazai to take strike, Hashmatullah Sahidi is the non-striker. Slight delay as play will start at 0250hrs in three minutes as some last-minute adjustments are made by the groundsman
  • Further delays but now the team of groundsmen are running off and play is about to start. Game on!
  • WICKET First ball! Afsar Khan, already with a 100 this tournament, is caught and bowled by Avinash, driving too early on a ball which 'popped' on the slow surface
  • Younas Khan RHB is the new bat, and gets off the mark with a single to mid-off
  • Perfect start for Nepal, Afghanistan already under pressure.
  • Afghanistan 2 for 1 at the end of the first over
  • Krishna Karki RFM to start from the Don Mueang End, will be looking to keep it right up to the bat, tempting the batsmen into mistiming drives on this slowish surface
  • Real test of technique for the batsmen this morning, head over the ball stuff in order to keep the ball on the ground
  • Big appeal by Krishna for lbw against the left-hander Hashmatullah, not out says Umpire Ramani
  • This Nepal team look to be in the mould of all the others over the years - percentage players trained to capitalise on opponents' mistakes. Are Afghanistan a team that makes the over-strokeplaying mistakes of the past or have they absorbed the lessons of international cricket which their illustrious ODI-playing forbears have?
  • 1 off the Krishna over, Afghanistan 3 for 1 after 2 overs
  • First FOUR to Afghanistan, Younas laces an Avinash full-toss to mid-on and at the end of the third over Afghanistan are 9 for 1
  • Prithu Baskota OB comes on from the Don Muaeng End, spin from the fourth over!
  • Leading-edge first ball! Just drops wide of cover, off Younas's bat
  • Prithu's two men in the deep are at mid-wicket and long-on for the right-hander and mid-off and square leg for the left-handed Hashmatullah
  • End of over 4, Afghanistan 11 for 1
  • Krishna Karki, having changed ends, is on at the University End, just 1 off his first over
  • Afghanistan's openers are being forced into playing conservatively, by the off-stump-directed bowling, though you can sense them itching to get on with things, Hashmatullah especially. Terrific contest here
  • WICKET and Hashmatullah is out, holing out as looked likely, to Prithu at mid-on. Hashmatullah goes for 3 and Afghanistan are 12 for 2 after 5 overs
  • This U-19 Nepal team looks just like the others that have gone ahead of them, put the ball in the right place and let the batsmen self-destruct
  • Avinash LFM also swaps ends and comes on from the Don Mueang End
  • Afghanistan's captain Shir Shirzai RHB is the new batsman, will need all his experience and leadership ability to get his team out of this 12 for 2 hole
  • DROPPED Shir is dropped at slip by Naresh Buddhayer, fencing at one outside off with a straight bat chest-high and that could be a big miss
  • FOUR to Younas Khan, Aravinda-esque as Krishna drops short, the ball sailing through midwicket, Afghanistan 17 for 2 in the seventh over
  • Nepal as good with the ground fielding as ever, threatening run-out chances
  • The Thai U-19s are watching things with interest as they wait to take nets at the AIT and there's a decent crowd of Afghans too near the players' tent
  • Seven overs gone, Afghanistan 18 for 2, Younas 13*, Shir 0*
  • WICKET Younas goes lbw to Avinash, playing slightly round a straight one and Najibullah Zadran LHB is the new batsman, Afghanistan 18 for 3 at the start of the 8th over
  • LHB Najibullah beaten outside off by LFM Avinash
  • WICKET MAIDEN to Avinash who's in good rhythm at the AIT today, took a wicket with his first ball in the match and now has another, 4-1-9-2 so far
  • so far (and so slim) that is
  • End of the 9th over and Afghanistan are 20 for 3
  • FOUR to Najibullah, good shot, driven through mid-off and beats the fielder and the heavyish outfield, he's on 4*, Afghanistan 24 for 3 in the 10th over
  • WICKET Najibullah's bowled and the off-stump is broken too, airy shot, and Avinash gets his third wicket!, Afghanistan 24 for 4 after 9.3 overs
  • Mohibullah Paak RHB is the new batsman, he joins his captain Shir Shirzai 1* off 9 balls, Afghanistan 25 for 4 after 10 overs
  • Great start by Nepal this morning
  • Nepali fans have gathered now too, with a traditional 'madal' the guru Binod Pandey points out
  • Mohibullah in just the couple of balls he's faced, looks a class above the other batsmen so far
  • But playing this Nepali bowling isn't easy and the spinners have barely begun yet
  • EDGE off Mohibullah falls just short of slip off Krishna Karki
  • 1 off the 11th over, Afghanistan 26 for 4, Shirzai 2*, Mohibullah 0*
  • Avinash to continue 5-1-14-3, Krishna 5-0-9-1 so far
  • Probing sixth over by Avinash to Shir Shirzai, just one off the over, a wide and Afghanistan are 27 for 4 after 11
  • There haven't been many runs so far, and most of them have come behind square as the bowlers and the wicket really haven't allowed the batsman to play positively, Afghanistan 28 for 4 after 12 overs
  • No real reason for Nepal's captain Prithu Baskota to change the bowlers at this stage, though he may want to keep a couple of overs in hand for them. The spinners may be even more difficult to face!
  • Avinash bowls another good over, Afghanistan struggling to get past 120 at this rate, 14 overs gone, Afghanistan 31 for 4
  • Avinash 7-1-17-3 so far, both Shirzai and Mohibullah 2*
  • FOUR to Shirzai chipping an Avinash half-volley through mid-wicket, in the air for a while, Afghanistan 35 for 4 in the 15th over
  • Bhuvan Karki SLA on from the Don Mueang End, replacing Avinash who bowled very well
  • Three close-catchers for Bhuvan
  • MAIDEN, and a testing over by Bhuvan to Shir Shirzai who reached forward as much as possible, head over the ball that over, Afghanistan 36 for 4 after 16 overs
  • Spin times two as Rahul Vishwakarma SLA comes on at the University End
  • 1 off the over, Afghanistan 37 for 4 after 17 overs, Shirzai 7*, Mohibullah 3*
  • DRINKS
  • 1 off Bhuvan Karki's second over as Mohibullah drove airily past the divng bowler's left hand, Afghanistan 38 for 4 after 18 and this is Afghanistan's biggest partnership of the match so far 13*
  • FOUR to Mohibullah driving Rahul V crisply through cover, good shot
  • Five off the over, Afghanistan 43 for 4 after 19 overs
  • CHANCE Mohibullah dropped at slip by Naresh B off Bhuvan Karki, nevertheless a good MAIDEN, Bhuvan 3-2-1-0, Afghanistan 43 for 4 after 20 overs, crawling towards 100
  • WICKET Run-out - Shir drives to mid-on Krishna, sets off goes half-way down the track before Mohibullah sends him back and his dive back to the crease is a fraction too late, Afghanistan 43 for 5 in the 21st over, Shirzai 7 off 47 balls
  • New batsman is Rahmatuallah Sahaq RHB
  • Afghanistan now in a situation where an aggressive cameo from somebody could revive the innings - as things are now, they're being snuffled out by tight bowling and good ground-fielding. Nepal on them like fog on a swamp
  • Never really a run there for Shir Shirzai but he had timed the drive so well maybe he felt he deserved one
  • Mohibullah not looking too good against Rahul Vishwakarma SLA
  • MAIDEN over, Afghanistan 46 for 6 after 23 overs, Mohibullah 12*
  • FOUR to Rahmatullah, powering Bhuvan between mid-on and long-on, and that's Afghanistan's 50
  • SIX to end the over Rahmatullah hoisting Bhuvan way over long-off, two strokes for his 10* and Afghanistan are 56 for 5 after 24 overs
  • Prithu Baskota OB replaces Rahul V at the University End
  • Apologies for the delay - two laptops and many connection attempts later....
  • Afghanistan 79 for 5 after 31 overs
  • Bhuvan 8-2-21-0 and Mohibullah 28*, Shahaq 18*
  • Partnership of 37 off 67 balls so far for the sixth wicket
  • Quite a bit's been happening: stone cold run-out of Rahmatullah missed as Nepal's 'keeper Subash dropped the ball and another chance was dropped by two colliding fielders in the deep in the next over
  • Aftab Alam 16* off 5 balls, two 6s and a 4 until he's bowled by Bhuvan Karki, Afghanistan 114 for 8, Rahmatullah 29*, 37.5 overs gone
  • WICKET Prithu catches Rahmatullah at mid-off running to his left. Rahmatullah goes for 29, Afghanistan's score 114 for 9
  • Afghanistan have pushed on in recent overs but Nepal have kept their discipline, the bowlers Rahul Vishvakarma and Bhuvan Karki bowling particularly well
  • Bhuvan Karki 10-3-37-1, Rahul Vishvakarma 7-2-14-1
  • Abdul Rashid LHB at No.11 is showing the best technique of any Afghan batsman so far, coming right forward to the spin and quick on his feet!
  • Avinash Karn 7-1-17-3 to come back on from the Don Mueang End. Has bowled very well so far, great rhythm and making the batsmen play at just about everything
  • SIX Mohammad Yamin can bat a bit too! Slams a front-foot pull over mid-wicket off Avinash
  • End of over 42 and Afghanistan are 124 for 9, Yamin 9* and Abdul Rashid 1*
  • WICKET Yamin down on one knee to hoist Rahul V over long on, huge hit, but a 'gust from the gods' a la Costner in Tin Cup holds it up in the air and Pradeep Airee has plenty of time to wait for it, inches in from the boundary line, Afghanistan finish on 125 after 42.3 overs
  • Nepal will go out to bat for an awkward pre-lunch session in 10 minutes' time
  • Afghanistan, after being put in: 125 all out off 42.3 overs (M.Paak 30; A.Karn 3-24)
  • The match is Nepal's to win from now on, they really should win this, pace of Aftab Alam and Mohammad Yamin notwithstanding. Afghanistan will compete to the utmost too and they are a good fielding side but if, at the start of the match, you had offered Prithu Baskota and his team 126, they'd have taken. They not only took it, they made it happen with some very good fielding and bowling
  • "It is going to be a game of temperament" said one of the officials before the start of the match, that has proved to be so, as Nepal's discipline outshone Afghanistan's. Still, half a game to go yet and anything could happen!
  • Aftab Alam to start from the University End, third man and fine leg outside the circle, one wide slip and gully in place
  • Subash Khakurel to face
  • Much expected of Fazlur Rahman Khan who's made 46* and 101 so far this tournament, but this is the first time he's faced bowling of this quality in his life, this being his first international tournament
  • But then, you don't how good you are until you have to come up with the goods against the best
  • Nepal 3 for 0 after 1 over
  • Abdul Rashid SLA on in the second over! And is greeted with a SIX second ball by Fazlur Rahman Khan, top shot over long off
  • And another SIX, over long on, next ball!
  • Fazlur striking the ball very, very cleanly and Afghanistan will have to resort to Plan B straight away
  • Aftab Alam to resume, at pace, from the University End
  • WICKET Fazlur yorked by Aftab and the off-stump is broken in two, late on the shot he was, but who wouldn't be? Nepal 23 for 1 after 2.3 overs, Fazlur out for 14
  • Sagar Pun is the new Nepal batsman, Aftab close to 130km/h here according to Venkatesh Prasad
  • Truth be told Aftab Alam is a little erratic today, there have been wides and he's been warned for running down the wicket by Umpire AK Rana already, but he is building up a fair head of steam
  • After that one over of Abdul Rashid spin, Mohammad Yamin tall and pacey, comes on at the Don Mueang End
  • Three off the last over, plenty of chat from the Afghan fielders, Nepal's tent quiet in concentration
  • Nepal 27 for 1 after 4 overs
  • Big appeal for lbw by Aftab against Subash, not out
  • Afghanistan's wicket-keeper just on the 30-yard circle for Aftab today but there's absolutely no bounce in this wicket
  • Sagar Pun off the mark with a glance to leg, Nepal 29 for 1 after 5 overs, Subash 6*, Sagar 1*, Aftab Alam 3-0-7-1
  • FOUR to Sagar, sweetly clipping Yamin off hs legs at the start of the 6th over, which will be the last one before lunch
  • FOUR Sweet and sweeter, an on-drive from Subash, his second boundary of the innings and Nepal go into lunch having made good inroads into the target of 126. Nepal 39 for 1 after 6 overs.
  • LUNCH We resume in 45 minutes 0710 hrs GMT
  • Play about to resume after the Lunch interval, Nepal are on 39 for 1 after 6 overs, with 44 overs in hand to get the 126 necessary to win
  • Aftab to resume, he has 7 overs left, Subash Khakurel to face
  • Subash 11*, Sagar Pun 6*
  • Just before the break for lunch there was some late in-swing for Aftab Alam, and following a big appeal for lbw against Subash third ball after the resumption it looks like there is again
  • The wicket is playing lower now too
  • MAIDEN Aftab aggressive and probing but Subash up to the task
  • Shir Shirzai medium-pace cutters on at the Don Mueang End, looking to pinch a wicket for his team. Nepal's batsmen will not, or should not, be attempting anything rash but nor can they allow the bowlers to settle into a run-stifling rhythm
  • FOUR Wides as Shir slips one down the leg side, Nepal 43 for 1 in the eighth over, good comeback next ball as Sagar's beaten outside off, Afsar Khan the 'Afghan keeper standing up to the stumps
  • Nepal 45 for 1 after 8 overs, target is 126
  • Aftab to attack again, looking for that yorker at the stumps
  • Nepal 47 for 1 after 9 overs, Subash 12*, Sagar 8* and Aftab is being kept out well
  • Just a few too many slipping down leg from Aftab for his side's liking
  • Shir to resume from the Don Mueang End with his medium-pace
  • WICKET Sagar's caught behind off Shir Shirzai, the ball pitching on a length just outside off and Sagar followed it, Sagar 8 (25 balls) Ten overs gone, Nepal 49 for 2, 77 more wanted at just under 2 an over
  • An indication of how slow this wicket is, Aftab balls a bouncer, it balloons over Subash's head and gets to wicket-keeper Afsar on the second bounce, shin-high
  • AIT's playing like many a Nepali track, so Nepal's batters should be able to get on top of the conditions
  • Directions on how to read Aftab Alam's deliveries: Everytime he grunts at the point of delivery, it's going to be a yorker. MAIDEN to him and Nepal are still 49 for 2, 11 overs gone
  • DROPPED CHANCE Shir induces a false stroke by Naresh, goes to square leg who gets both hands to it but can't control it, Nepal 50 for 2 in the 12th over
  • Nepal 55 for 2 after 12 overs, Subash 18*, Naresh 1*, Target 126.
  • Aftab takes slip away and brings him in to shot extra cover, ball wouldn't be carrying to slip most likely
  • End of over 13, Nepal 57 for 2 and Aftab's threat is being nullified by Nepal
  • All Nepal need to do is nudge and glance their way to the total, plenty of room behind square on both sides of the wicket
  • Five off the Shir Shirzai over, Nepal 62 for 2, Subash 21*, Naresh 4*. Target 126, 36 overs remaining
  • And Aftab takes a break after his 7-1-11-1. Mohibullah Paak RFM replaces him
  • Even good bowling can be scored off in limited overs cricket and these two at the crease look like they have good technique and run very well between the wickets
  • Nepal 64 for 2 after 15 overs, Subash Khakurel 22*, Naresh Budhayer 5*, Target 126
  • FOUR to Naresh, nicely driven over Shir's head to the sightscreen, first ball of the 16th over
  • Partnership of 20* so far to go with the ones of 23 and 26
  • Nepal 69 for 2 after 16 overs, Subash 22*, Naresh 9*, Shir 5-0-24-1, Mohibullah 1-0-2-0
  • Almost like Test cricket in the old days here, bowlers keeping it tight, batsmen not needing or feeling the need to hurry, Nepal 71 for 2 after 17 overs, target 126
  • Abdul Rashid SLA to come back on at the Don Muaeng End, his first over went for 19 and Subash is still there to greet him
  • WICKET Subash Khakurel holes out to mid-off, strange shot, for 23 off 51 balls and Abdul Rashid gets some reward for pitching the ball up, Nepal are 71 for 3 in the 18th over, Target 126
  • Prithu Baskota, the maturest young man one could hope to encounter, comes in for Nepal. He's not going to give it away easily
  • Twin spin for Afghanistan as Dawood Bahram LB comes on at the University End
  • Eight off the Dawood over and Nepal are 79 for 3 after 19 overs, Target 126
  • Naresh and Prithu are hitting anything pitched up and anything short....eight off the Rashid over, Naresh 16*, Prithu 9*, Nepal 87 for 3 after 20 overs, Target 126
  • Pace of Mohammad Yamin back on
  • 18 wides so far by Afghanistan - against other teams they can get away with it, not Nepal, not today it seems
  • Rashid bowls a beauty, pitching leg and moving outside off in his fourth over, but Nepal are cruising here 90 for 3 after 22 overs, Target 126
  • WICKET Prithu lbw to Mohammad Yamin, playing round one heading for leg-stump. He goes for 9 and Nepal are 91 for 4 in the 23rd over
  • He'll be disappointed, Afghanistan need a couple more wickets to set this game alight. Pradeep Airee - the hitter, 86 off 40 against Oman two days ago - comes in and DRINKS are being taken
  • Pradeep's bat making whip-cracks each time he makes contact, 1 to him so far, Naresh on 20*, Nepal 94 for 4 after 23 overs, Target 126
  • Nepal are 98 for 4 after 24 overs, Target 126, Naresh Budhayer 20*, Pradeep Airee 5*
  • Nepal's 100 comes up with 2 to square leg from Naresh, and FOUR two balls later and Nepal are 106 for 4 at the end of the 25th over, just 20 more wanted
  • FOUR to Naresh, first ball of Aftab's comeback over
  • and FOUR the next ball, the first, driven to square leg, this another full-toss clipped to backward point
  • FOUR Again! This one through cover and Aftab's leaking runs. Good batting by Naresh, who's more than made up for his two dropped chances earlier in the day
  • 13 off the 26th over and Nepal 119 for 4, needing just 7 more to win
  • Naresh 40*, Pradeep 5*, Aftab Alam 8-2-24-1, Mohammad Yamin 5-0-25-1
  • Wide No.19 bowled by Mohammad Yamin
  • FOUR to Pradeep, smashed through long-off against Yamin, and Nepal have WON BY SIX WICKETS
  • Very disciplined and accomplished performance by Nepal, outplayed a flat and uninspired Afghanistan in all departments and they romp home with 140 balls to spare, chasing 126
  • Good toss to win and whichever team would have batted first would have struggled, but Nepal bowled just six wides in the Afghan winnings and really stuck to their disciplined gameplan for almost every moment of the match
  • "We bowled line to line and the spinners Bhuvan and Rahul did just the right thing. No doubt we would have struggled batting first because for 90 minutes in the morning the wicket was very difficult," says victorious coach Jagat Tamata, "Batting we could have done a little better but Afghanistan thought pace was the answer today when keeping wides down was more important."
  • Afghanistan's bowling coach Hasti Gul says, "The boys just didn't bat responsibly, sometimes you must know the difficult conditions and play to the wicket, this was not good from us but we are still a very strong team and I am confident we will get to the Final still."

ACC U-19 Elite Cup 2011

Group B: Afghanistan v Nepal at AIT
NEPAL WON BY SIX WICKETS
Nepal won the toss and elected to field
Afghanistan: 125 all out off 42.3 overs (M.Paak 30; A.Karn 3-24)
Nepal: 127 for 4 off 26.4 overs (N.Budhayer 42*)
Man of the Match: Avinash Karn (Nepal)
Scorecard

Photos by Jirada Chaisirichote

Tournament page

Filed February 4th, 2011