Cricnepal – Babar Azam’s unbeaten century helped Pakistan U-23, a comfortable nine-wicket win against Nepal at the Padang ground in Singapore yesterday.
Put in to bat, Nepal were bowled out for 156 in 50 overs, with Raza Hasan, the left-arm spinner, taking 3 for 21. Opener Subash Khakurel made a well-made 127-ball 78 with 9 fours and a six. He lost his partner at regular intervals. Only Binod Bhandari and Basant Regmi are supported with 16 runs each in the total. Spin dominated the innings and tightened things up for Nepal. There were altogether 12 fours and 1 six in the innings.
The last 10 overs didn’t even produce a single boundary in Nepal’s inning. Bilawal Bhatti along with Usman Qadir, Hammad Azam, Mohammad Nawaz & Babar Azam were among the wicket-takers.
In reply, the opening batters Babar Azam & Azeem Ghumman put a half-century stand. Azeem Ghumman was dismissed for 15 by Basant Regmi when the score was 66 runs, but Hammad Azam scored an unbeaten 41 (46 balls) to give good support to Babar, as the side coasted to victory and booked their berth in the knockouts. Azam hit 11 fours in his 118-ball innings.
Previously, Nepal lost to Afghanistan by 3 runs, and lost to India U-23 runs by 84 runs. Nepal remained at the bottom of the Group A table after the match’s conclusion.
The team will arrive home on Thursday morning. Facing the most challenging team would have helped the underdogs.
Some positives for Nepali players in the tournaments:
- Basant Regmi played three matches and produced 9 wickets with a strike rate of 19.3, he bowled 29 overs with 2 maidens with an economy of 5.34. 5/31 was his best figure.
- Wicketkeeper batsman Subash Khakurel scored 130 runs in the tournament with an average of 43.33, he played well in the match against Pakistan U-23 and scored 78 runs.
- Avinash Karna could not produce wickets but he bowled exceptionally well in the condition.
- Skipper Paras Khadka scored 60 runs in the match against Afghanistan and was judged Man of the Match. Nepal lost the match 3 runs
- Sagar Pun was in form in the match against India U-23 to produce his 61-ball 52 with the help of seven fours