Kathmandu- Skipper Raju Rijal scored an enthralling century as NepalU19 registered a dominating 171 run win over UgandaU19 in the ongoing ICC U-19 World Cup Qualifier. This is Nepal second win in as many matches in the five team tournament.
Player of the match Raju scored 101 runs from 115 balls. He reached his century in an emphatic manner – hitting the Uganda captain Bukunzi for a 6 in the 43rd over. Raju also gloved 3 catches and a stumping standing behind the wicket. This is only the third century for Nepal in U19 level. The previous two going to Kaniska Chaugain( 125 vs.MaldivesU19 2003) and Fazlur Rahman( 101 vs. OmanU19 in 2011)
Winning the toss and batting first, Nepal posted 243/7 in 50 overs thanks to the enthralling century from skipper and quick half century from the vice captain Aarif Sheikh. In reply, Uganda were folded for mere 71 runs
Nepal lost both the openers early –Sandeep Sunwar(2) and Sunil Dhamala(7) .Raju came into bat at number 4 with Nepal struggling at 13-2. He steadied Nepal innings along with Yogendra Karki adding 87 runs for the third wicket. Yogendra also played an important innings of 30 runs from 78 balls before falling to Bukunzi in the 27th over.
After Yogendra’s departure Aarif joined the skipper in the middle and the 90 run partnership between Aarif and Raju changed the complexion of the match. The captain vice – captain duo scored at almost a run a ball and laid a foundation for big runs at the end. As a result Nepal added 74 runs in the last 10 overs to take the score to 242.
Raju was out in the 43rd over, almost immediately after getting to hundred. Nepal lost quick wicket after Raju’s departure but Aarif however stuck around till late and completed his half century in the last ball of 48th over. He was eventually out the next over for 54 of 59 balls. Rajbir Singh(13*) smacked six off Okwalinga in the final over as Nepal posted 242.
Uganda comes into the tournament with top score of 168 in last 6 matches. Succumbing to pressure of massive target Uganda lost its track early. 17 year old medium pacer Dipesh Shrestha made early in roads for Nepal getting rid of the top three Arinataww(0), Adriko(5) and Lubega(1) by the 7th over. Aarif who opened the bowling along with Dipesh bagged the fourth wicket – Waiswa bold for 1. Sunil Dhamala who had bagged 5 wickets in the last match got rid of Akankwasa(4) in his first over and Uganda had half their batting line up back in pavilion with just 13 runs on board.
Uganda Skipper Bukunzi and Gabula provided bit of resistance adding 28 runs for the 6th wicket. Bukunzi made 18 runs off 60 balls before he was dismissed by Dipendra Airee in the 27th over. Airee got rid of Okwalinga(0) the very next ball. However Gabula continued his stand till the very end remaining unbeaten in 25 runs from 76 balls.
Nepalese bowlers returned once again with impressive figures. Dipesh Shrestha picked 3 wickets from his 7 overs giving away just 25 runs. Prem Tamang and Dipendra Airee bagged 2 wickets each. Aarif who bowled 4 maidens giving just 1 runs from in 5.2 overs bagged two wickets and Sunil Dhamala got one. Sushil Kandel went wicketless today but bowled impressive 6 overs which included 4 maidens.