Report by Richard Lockwood, CAT

Nepal had come unstuck in the semi-finals when the tournament was last played, losing to Afghanistan, and they were determined that this wouldn’t happen again as they won the toss and put Qatar in to bat when the match got under way after a delayed start.

Qatar made good progress against the new ball to reach 57 for one but slow left-arm spinner Bhuban Karki made the decisive breakthrough by dismissing top-scorer Saad Khan for 26 and then Tamoor Sajjad, Qatar’s captain and best player, first ball for nought, both caught behind the wicket.

In the space of two balls the match had effectively been decided, as the Nepal spinners found the slow and low conditions at AIT very much to their liking. Rahul Vishwakarma is the leading wicket-taker in the tournament and he added four more wickets to his tally, as well as captaining the side after Prithu Baskoti was carried off.

Qatar contributed to their own demise as two catches were hit to mid-off in the same over, but Vishwakarma, another left-arm spinner who uses his height well, is clearly a talented bowler and he finished with figures of 4 for 20.

Qatar were bowled out for 113 in 47 overs, as the last two wickets were thrown away to run outs, and Nepal looked to have a simple task to reach the final. They lost two early wickets as Tamoor tried to revive his side with a wicket and a catch, but after lunch Sagar Pun and Narash Buddhayer showed that Nepal had some high class batsmen to go with a battery of spinners.

Sagar Pun hit four fours and two sixes in his 36, and Narash Buddhayer hit three fours and one six in his unbeaten 41. It was a surprise when Sagar Pun was caught at long off to end a partnership of 86 and Rajash Pulami was dismissed first ball but Pradeep Airee finished the match in style by smashing two sixes in successive balls.

Afghanistan now play Nepal in this year’s final at TCG on Thursday, both teams sure in the knowledge they have already gained places in the global qualifying event for the next ICC U/19 World Cup. It should be quite a contest.

ACC U-19 Elite Cup 2011

Semi-Final 2: Nepal v Qatar at Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok
Nepal won the toss and elected to field
Qatar: 113 all out off 47 overs (R.Vishwakarma 4-20)
Nepal: 119 for 4 off 20 overs (S.Pun 36, N.Budhayer 41*)
Man of the Match: Rahul Vishwakarma (Nepal)

Photos by Sirinan Khomlone

Tournament page

Filed February 8th, 2011