18th February, 2006: Plate championship final, Nep U19 VS NZ U19
Four overs to go, 34 runs to win, one wicket in hand: Nepal U19 were exactly in this position chasing 205 runs to win against New Zealand U19. But Nepal did it. Nepal won the game by one wicket, with two balls to spare. Ratan Rauniyar batting at no.10 slapped 26 runs off 19 balls to win the final for Nepal, while, earlier, Basant Regmi, 66 runs from 73 balls and Prem Chaudhary 26 runs overturned the match in Nepal’s favor from a position of 75 for 6.
The New Zealander squad then had Martin Guptil, Colin Munro, Tod Astle, Ronnie Hira and Tim Southee, who later went to become stars for the senior team. The Nepal team had Paras Khadka, Sharad Veswakar, Gyanendra Malla and Basant Regmi in their squad.
A decade later, Nepal U19 lock horns against New Zealand U19 again in the first game of the ICC U19 World Cup tomorrow. A happy start will be on both team’s mind.
Preparation ahead of the tournament
New Zealand had a brief stay in Dubai, where they participated in a tri-nation tournament that also featured Pakistan U19 and Australia U19, as a preparation for the world cup. Christan Leopard scored a magnificent century, 116 off 71 balls, though New Zealand lost the final to Pakistan by 31 runs. In the warm ups, they won against Afghanistan U19 by 13 runs and lost to Sir Lanka by four wickets.
Nepal, meanwhile, lost two match series against Afghanistan U19 and warm up matches; against Pakistan by 110 runs and against Sri Lanka by 65 runs. Nepal however won the 3 match series against Himanchal Pradesh Cricket Association XI, 2-1.
No news of injuries have been heard from both side. Sub-condition pitch and condition will be a challenge for New Zealand while a benefiting factor for Nepal. New Zealand has got the upper hand going into tomorrow’s match but Nepal can overcome them if it is their day tomorrow.
Players to watch
Sunil Dhamala(Nepal)- Dhamala has been in blistering form recently. He scored 226 runs in the last seven practice matches at an average 37.67, including 100 not out off just 86 balls against Himanchal Pradesh Cricket Association. Also the highest runs getter in the ICC U19 WCQ 2015 in Malaysia with 170 runs at an average of 42.50, he can deliver effectively with the bowl.
Christian Leopard(New Zealand)- Leopard smashed 116 runs off just 71 balls against Pakistan U19 in the final of the tri-nation tournament in Dubai. His ability to play long innings can trouble Nepal U19 tomorrow.
Nepal U19: Raju Rijal (c), Dipendra Airee, Sunil Dhamala, Himanshu Dutta, Saurabh Khanal, Sushil Kandel, Yogendra Karki, Sandeep Lamichhane, Ishan Pandey, Shankar Rana, Prem Tamang, Arif Sheikh, Sandeep Sunar, Dipesh Shrestha, Rajbir Singh,
New Zealand: Josh Finnie (c), Finnley Allen, Josh Clarkson, Zak Gibson, Christian Leopard, Felix Murray, Aniket Parikh, Dale Phillips, Glenn Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, Talor Scott, Ben Sears, Nathan Smith, Daniel Stanley, Rosster Braak