Townsville/ICC:Harry Conway took a hat-trick and Cameron Bancroft scored 125 as Australia put a stun to Nepal’s World Cup campaign with a 212-run win at the Tony Ireland Stadium, Townsville, on Monday.
Chasing 295 to win after Bancroft (125) and Kurtis Patterson (86) led the Aussie assault, Conway (3-15 off six overs) ripped through the Nepalese top order, removing opener Pradeep Airee (one), Naresh Budayair (zero) and Nepal captain Prithu Baskota (zero) inside the first six overs.
Sagar Pun (22) and Rajesh Pulami (21) put up some brief resistance but Nepal were never in the hunt and were bowled out for 82 in the 24th over.
Conway – who was not picked to face England on Saturday – clean bowled Airee before clipping the top of Budayair’s off-stump in the fourth over.
He then had a couple of minutes to stew over his hat-trick ball as his over ended, but a brief chat with assistant coach Craig McDermott at fine leg provided the inspiration for his milestone as he again hit the top of off-stump, sending Baskota on his way and sparking celebrations among the players.
Sagar and Pulami added 41 runs for the fifth wicket, leading to a change in the bowling attack, but the introduction of off-spinner Ashton Turner (4-28 off 5.5) only hastened Nepal’s demise as he cleaned up the tail quickly.
Earlier, the underdogs made a bright start when Krishna Karki (1-45 off seven) removed Jimmy Peirson (19) in the eighth over with the score on 31.
That brought Patterson to the crease and despite the fact Bancroft could have been run out on 15, they were rarely troubled and in full control.
Bancroft and Patterson turned the strike over regularly, with the latter more aggressive, but in a 104-ball period between the 15th over and the 35th, they scored just one boundary.
At the end of the 34th over, Australia were 144 for one and in need of a boost, one that came from a batting powerplay as they surged towards 200.
Patterson set the tone in the five overs of enforced fielding restrictions, dispatching the second delivery for four over cover before he found his range and hit two big sixes.
From the first 20 deliveries of the powerplay, the Aussies hit 46 runs, before Patterson was bowled by a sharp turner from Bhuvan Karki (1-34 off five).
That ended a terrific 160-run partnership that came from 182 deliveries, although it triggered a steady flow of wickets as Nick Stevens (one), Travis Head (nine), Sam Hain (17) and Alex Turner (16) all departed in the hunt for late runs.
Bancroft still had time to notch his fourth century at under-19 level though, reaching the deserved milestone in 130 deliveries.
He then took 25 off the next nine – including two big sixes – before he was superbly caught by Sagar on the boundary off the bowling of Avinash Karn (1-69 off nine).
Captain Will Bosisto (seven not out) and Alex Gregory (one not out) guided Australia to the end of their 50 overs as they finished with a score that proved far too much for their opponents.
Click here to see the photos of the match.