Nepal and Malaysia will compete for a prestigious title in the final of the ACC U16 Eastern Region at Prem International School in Chiang Mai on Sunday 28th April after winning their respective semi-finals. Hong Hong, China put up a brave fight in the field after being bowled out for 86 by the defending champions, but Nepal eventually won by four wickets as they reached their target in 21.4 overs. Nikhil Kumar Singh was named player of the match for his figures of 4 for 16.

Player of the Match: Nikhil Kumar Singh (Nepal)
Player of the Match: Sachinu Hettige (Malaysia)

Singapore had won all three of their matches to head Group B but they were brought down to earth by Malaysia who scored 170 for 6 in their 35 overs. Run machines Arnaav Chabria and Girin Gune who had shared a partnership of 215 against China again batted well to take their team to 76 for 2 but Singapore lost eight wickets for 37 and were bowled out for 113. Sachnu Hettige was awarded player of the match for his analysis of 3 for 15.

Nepal took control of their semi-final against Hong Kong, China at Prem from the start as left-arm fast bowler Bishal Patel dismissed both openers lbw with well pitched inswingers.  Hong Kong, China dug in as captain Aarush Bhagwati was determined to bat for as long as he could. He scored an unbeaten 43 from 83 balls with 4 fours but he scored exactly half of his team’s runs as no other Hong Kong, China batsman could reach double figures or even find the boundary.

Left-arm spinner Ramesh Kurmi took two for 14 in his 7 overs and off-spinner Nikhil Kumar spin had the best figures as he claimed 4 for 16. Hong Kong, China were dismissed for 86 in 32.2 overs but Bhagwati had ensured that his bowlers at leat had something to bowl at.

Nepal’s openers got off to a bright start but Ahan Trivedi dismissed both of them to give Hong Kong, China a degree of hope as Nepal were 29 for 2 after five overs. Aaish Bhattaraj stood firm with 17 from 43 balls but Hong Kong, China stayed in the hunt as Brij Sheopuri took 3 for 20.

Wicket-keeper Rohan Dudhraj hit three successive fours but when he was bowled by Sheopuri, Nepal were 69 for 6, but the favourites for the title kept going for their shots and Krish Karki and Nikhil Kumar Singh saw their side over the line. Nepal had reached the final of the ACC U16 Eastern Region for the second time, having won the inaugural version of the competition in 2017.

Nepal had faced Singapore in the final in 2017 and it had been expected that the  two sides would meet again in the 2019 final, but Malaysia had been highly competitive against Nepal before losing in the group stages and had beaten Thailand and Myanmar.

Malaysia were asked to bat first when Singapore won the toss and made the most of the opportunity after batting second in their three previous matches. Malaysia  lost a wicket to the first ball of their innings but Kishan Kumar and Sidharth Karthik batted with confidence as they shared a second-wicket stand of 71 as Kumar made 38 fro 71 balls. Karthik made 22 as did Lokman while captain Sharveen Surednran hit 28 from 39 balls.

Malaysia’s batting order has an impressive depth to it and Ahmed Akmal and Muhammad Haziq both hit a six in the last over of the innings to take the total to 170 for 6 from 35 overs to give Malaysia a good chance of causing a suprise and reaching the final.

Muhammad Amirul took a wicket with the second ball of Singapore’s innings and then achieved a run out in the second over to leave Singapore on the back foot at 5 for 2. Girin Gune joined stand-in captain Arnaav Chabria at the crease and the pair who had added 215 against China in a total of 352 in 35 overs were back together.

It would have been a remarkable achievement to put together another match-winning partnership and when the score reached 76 Chabria was out for 24 from 42 balls with 3 fours. Girin Gone would now have to repeat his heroics against China when he made 105 from 71 balls on the same ground but he fell for 39 from 63 balls with 5 fours and Singapore were suddenly 80 for 4 with less than 15 overs to score 91more runs.

The lower order collapsed as no other batsman reached double figures in contrast to Malaysia’s superb team effort. Eight wickets fell for 37 runs as Sachnu Hettige took 3 for 15 and Sidharth Karthik finished things off with 2 for 7 as Singapore were bowled out for 113 in 30.4 overs.

Underdogs Malaysia had gained an impressive victory over by 57 runs and will now meet defending champions Nepal in the final at Prem.  Nepal won the earlier group match by 39 runs but it was an even contest after Malaysia had been able to bowl out their illustrious opponents for 141 inside the 35 overs. We should see another close encounter in the final on Sunday as Nepal look to retain the trophy and Malaysia will be so excited to have reached the final after finishing in fourth place last time.

Sat 27-Apr

SF1: Nepal v Hong Kong at Prem
Hong Kong won the toss and chose to bat
Hong Kong: 86 all out off 32.2 overs (A.Bhagwat 43*; N.Singh 4-16)
Nepal: 87 for 6 off 21.4 overs (B.Sheopuri 3-20)
Player of the Match: Nikhil Kumar Singh (Nepal)

SF2: Singapore v Malaysia at RCGC
Singapore won the toss and elected to field
Malaysia: 170 for 6 off 35 overs (K.Kumar 38)
Singapore: 113 all out off 30.4 overs (G.Gune 39; S.Hettige 3-15)
Player of the Match: Sachinu Hettige (Malaysia)


Tournament page

Filed April 27th, 2019