KATHMANDU, May 4: Nepal started the ACC U-16 Elite Cup campaign with a win on Friday as Nurdhoj Sen as well as Kushal Bhurtel excelled with bat and Kali Charan Yadav showed his brilliance with the ball to pull a 78-run victory over Kuwait.
Nepal elected to bat first at the Bayuemas Oval Ground in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and put up 179 runs losing all the wickets in 32.4 overs. Nepal bowled out Kuwait for 101 runs in 32.5 overs.
Nepal lost its first wicket with 11 runs on board in 1.3 overs. However, Sen and Bhurtel anchored the Nepali innings. Sen scored 47 runs off 58 balls including six boundaries while Bhurtel hit 35 runs off 54 balls including four boundaries. Sashi Mishra added 10 runs.
Akash Bista and Kali Charan Yadav contributed 20-run partnership for the last wicket while rest of the batsmen failed to score in double digits. Bista remained unbeaten with 11 runs off 11 balls while Yadav chipped in 12 runs off 11 balls. Kuwait gave away 32 runs as extras including 28 wides.
Morshed Sarwar took four wickets for Kuwait while Saideep Yarapureddy claimed two wickets. Fazlur Rehman, Meezan Ali and Abdul Wahab claimed a wicket each.
Chasing the 180-run target, Kuwait was all out for 101 runs in 32.5 overs after Yadav took four wickets. Yarapureddy scored 38 runs off 64 balls and Faizan Sadiq hit 27 runs off 59 balls before Sashi Mishra claimed the wickets of both of them. Rest of the Kuwait batsmen failed to reach double-digit score. Nepal gave away 13 runs as extras. Man-of-the-match Yadav bowled eight overs, gave away 13 runs keeping four maiden overs to claim the four wickets. Jagadish Chand took two wickets while Akash Bista claimed a wicket.
"I had told boys to bat all the 40 overs but we lost some quick wickets and were bowled out in 32.4 overs. Nurdhoj Sen and Kushal Bhurtel´s innings helped us a lot to get a good total," said Nepali coach Manjur Alam Khan to Republica on telephone. "In bowling, Kali Charan did a fantastic job though two of their batsmen had troubled us for some time," he added.
Coach Alam said that the victory was a morale booster for his boys. "The first victory was important for the morale of the newly assembled team. However, we have more important matches to play in the group stage to qualify for the semifinal and we are focused on the next match now," said Alam.
Nepal will take on Bahrain at the Kinrara Oval Ground on Sunday in its second match of the ongoing tournament.
It was the second occasion that Nepal beat Kuwait in the ACC U-16 Elite Cup history. Nepal had defeated Kuwait by 101 runs in the first edition of the tournament held in Kathmandu in 2010. Nepal had finished the first edition as runner-up in 2010.