ICC U19 World Cup, Nepal U19

Nepal starts the U19 World Cup with a defeat against New Zealand

The Nepalese U19 team suffered a defeat against New Zealand U19 in the first match of the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2024. They faced a 64-run defeat at Buffalo Park, East London on Sunday.

This is Nepal’s first defeat against New Zealand in the U19 World Cup. They were victorious against the Blackcaps in both previous meetings (2006 and 2016).

Chasing a target of 303 runs, Nepal managed to score 238/9 after playing a full 50 overs. They had a poor start losing Deepak Bohara (0) and Aakash Tripathi (2). Dev Khanal and Arjun Kumal shared 59 runs for the third wicket before Dev departed for a well-made 36 runs. Team Nepal fumbled after that dismissal and were never in the contest, losing wickets at regular intervals.

Uttam Magar (0) and Gulshan Jha (2) couldn’t do any special. However, Opener Arjun continued batting on his style. Dipak Bohara contributed 15 runs whereas Dipesh Kandel was dismissed for a duck. Arjun fought alone and scored the joint second-highest score for Nepal in the U19 World Cup. He scored 90 runs from 105 balls with 12 boundaries before being dismissed in the 38th over.

Nepal were 176/8 after Kumal’s dismissal. Surprisingly Nepal’s tailenders did a fantastic job to play full fifty overs. Aaksh Chand scored 14 runs whereas the Bhandari duo played till the end. Subash Bhandari scored 33* whilst Tilak Bhandari made 17* runs.

For NZ, Mason Clarke picked up three wickets. Ewald Schreuder and Oscar Jackson also grabbed a couple of wickets each. 

Earlier in the first innings, New Zealand U19 posted 302/8 after the allotted 50 over. Late fireworks and a century from Snehith Reddy helped Kiwis post a big total. They added 99 runs from the last ten overs. 

New Zealand openers yielded a good start adding 53 runs for the first wicket. However, Nepalese spinners took quick wickets as Kiwis were down to 67/3 after the 14th over. Snehith Reddy and skipper Oscar Jackson then shared a match-turning partnership to bring the momentum back towards their side. 

The duo shared 157 runs for the fourth wicket before Jackson was dismissed by Tripathi in the 42nd over. He scored 75 runs from 81 balls with three fours and five sixes. It was Reddy who made the big difference. Reddy batted till the end and scored the highest individual score of the tournament so far. He scored an unbeaten 147 from 125 runs with 11 fours and six sixes. He also finished the inning with a maximum.

For Nepal Subash Bhandari picked up three wickets (10-0-60-3). Gulshan Jha grabbed two wickets whilst Tilak Bhandari, Aakash Tripathi and Dipesh Kandel also pocketed one wicket each.