KATHMANDU, May 13: Nepal will be eyeing a clean sweep of age group tournaments organized by the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) when it takes on host Malaysia in the final of ACC U-16 Elite Cup on Sunday at the Kinrara Cricket Ground in Kuala Lumpur.
Nepal has won the U-19 tournament four times between 2001 and 2007, U-15 in 2005 and 2006 and U-19 in 2009.
ACC cancelled the U-15 and U-16 tournaments and introduced U-16 in 2010 after the age-group tournaments drew controversy.
Nepal had registered a thrilling one-wicket victory over Malaysia when they faced each other in the league round of the ongoing tournament.
Nepal is undefeated in the tournament while Malaysia has lost only to Nepal. The road to the final was easy for Nepal except for the match against Malaysia. On the other hand, Malaysia had an easy victory over Iran but struggled against other teams.
Nepal had defeated Kuwait by 78 runs in the first match of the tournament. In the second match, Nepal registered an eight-wicket victory over Bahrain. Nepal defeated Iran by 167 runs in the third match.
In the last league match, Nepal had to toil hard for a one-wicket victory over Malaysia. In the semifinal, Nepal defeated defending champion Singapore by 101 runs.
Malaysia had also started the tournament on a winning note as it defeated Iran by 135 runs. Malaysia then defeated Bahrain by 43 runs and Kuwait by 16 runs. Malaysia defeated Oman by 35 runs in the semifinal.
Nepali coach Manzur Alam Khan is confident of lifting the trophy. “We are ready for the final and the players are in high spirits.”
“We have to improve our batting and bowling to lift the title. Malaysian spinners are in form and we have to be careful of them,” said Khan.
Nepal to meet India, Pakistan in ACC U-19 Asia Cup
Nepal to face India and Pakistan in the ACC U-19 Asia Cup scheduled to start from June 23 to July 1 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. According to the draw released by the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) on Saturday, Nepal is placed in the group A with host Malaysia, India and Pakistan.
Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Qatar are in Group B. Nepal had qualified for the tournament after finishing in the top three of the ACC U-19 Elite Cup held in Thailand last year.
India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh qualified for the tournament as Test playing nations, while Malaysia qualified for the tournament as the host.