Nepal dominates Kenya

KATHMANDU: Nepal defeated Kenya by six wickets to register their second win in the ICC Under-19 World Cup Qualifiers at the Railway Union Cricket Club grounds in Sandymount, Dublin today.

Nepal skipper decided to bowl first after winning the toss and they bowled out Kenya for 107 runs in 48.5 overs before reaching the target losing four wickets in 19.2 overs. Skipper Baskota remained not out at 31 off 42 balls with 4 fours and a six.

Nepal made a disastrous start losing three quick wickets in the early overs. Faijlur Rahaman was the first to be dismissed in the third over with 17 runs on the board, while Subash Khakurel followed after three runs and Sagar Pun was out for a five-ball duck, leaving Nepal at 20-3 in five overs.

Raising the hope for Nepal, Baskota and Naresh Budhayer added 63 runs for the fourth wicket before the latter was caught by wicketkeeper IA Karim off Allan, who claimed all the four Nepali wickets to return with 4-38 in eight overs. Budhayer scored 38-ball 19 hitting three fours.

Pradeep Airee then joined skipper Baskota at the crease and the duo guided the team home without further loss. Baskota scored an unbeaten 31 off 42 balls that included four boundaries and six, while Airee hit three fours in his 11-ball 12 not out. Nepal also benefited from the disastrous Kenyan bowling that yielded 32 sundries including 28 wides.

Earlier, medium pacers Krishna Karki and Avinash Karn shared six wickets between them as Nepal reduced Kenya to 35-6 in 12 overs. But the Kenyans fought back their way to three figures, thanks to IA Karim, who scored 40 off 128 balls hitting three fours.

Kenya made a bright start scoring five runs an over in the first three overs, but Nepal did not look back once Krishna struck in the fourth over. Karn and Krishna claimed five wickets in the space of three runs to leave Kenya tottering at 23-5.

Karn then gave another blow to Kenyans with another wicket with 35 runs on the board, while Bhuwan Karki reduced Kenya to 52-7 in the 21st over and Rahul Kumar BK made it 66-8 in the 33rd over. Bhuwan claimed his second wicket reducing Kenya to 77-9 before the last wicket pair of Karim and RH Savala added 30 runs to their team past three-figure mark.

Rahul wrapped up the innings when he had top scorer Karim stumped by Pradeep Airee, who kept the wickets in place of regular glovesman Subash Khakurel. While both man-of-the-match Karn and Krishna took identical 3-27 from their 10-over spells, Bhuwan returned with the wonderful figures of 10-6-9-2. Rahul claimed 2-26 off 9.5 overs.

Man of the match – Karn was thrilled to have played a part in the win: “Unlike in the subcontinent, the pitches here offer some assistance. It swung a bit and seamed off the surface for me. We wanted to get them for as low a target as possible. It was a tricky chase but the captain got us through”.

Nepal will play against Vanuata on Monday, with an eye to make a third win.