KATHMANDU, June 23: Nepal suffered an eight-wicket loss to Test playing nation Pakistan in its opening match of the ACC U-19 Asian Cup at Bayuemas Oval in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur, on Saturday.
Pakistan U-19 captain Babar Azam won the toss and invited Nepal to bat first. Pakistan bowlers proved their captain´s decision right and bowled out Nepal for 156 runs in 46.1 overs.
Nepal lost opener Subash Khakurel (6 runs) after putting up 16-run opening stand with Pradeep Airee (18).
Naresh Budhayair top scored for Nepal with 34 off 85 balls including three boundaries. Budhayair put up a 33-run stand with Airee for the second wicket, a 12-run stand with Sagar Pun (seven runs) and another 40-run fourth wicket stand with skipper Prithu Baskota (28 off 41 balls). The partnership between Airee and Baskota was the longest. Budayair was short of the crease in an attempt to take quick single.
Skipper Baskota hit three boundaries during his stay at the center. Rajesh Pulami Magar chipped in with 23 runs off 27 balls while Rahul BK added 13 runs off 22 balls.
Pakistani bowlers Azizullah and Mohammad Nawaz took two wickets apiece. Likewise, Zia-ul-Haq, Ehsan Adil and Usman Qadir claimed one wicket each. Pakistan conceded 16 runs as extras.
In reply, Pakistan surpassed the lowly total in 37.3 overs losing only two wickets. Pakistani opener Sami Aslam scored an unbeaten 82 runs off 115 balls. He hit 12 boundaries and forged the 98-run opening stand with skipper Babar Azam (48 runs off 64 balls).
"Naresh (Budayair) was set on the crease but we lost his wicket in a run out. Later it proved to be a crucial one as we were bowled out at 156," said Chatur Bahadur Chand, the Nepali team manager. "We still have matches against Malaysia and India. Boys are hopeful of positive results," he added.
Rahul Vishvakarma and Sagar Pun took a wicket each. Sami for his scintillating knock was adjudged man-of-the-match.
Nepal will take on Malaysia on Sunday at the Royal Selangor Club Ground in its second match of the tournament.
Sarkar, Haider heroes of the day
Bangladesh opening batsman Soumya Sarkar and bowler Abu Haider turned out to be the heroes of the opening day of the ACC U-19 Asia Cup.
Sarkar scored 209 runs off 135 balls and Haider claimed nine wickets in 5.4 overs as Bangladesh thrashed lowly Qatar by 328 runs.
Bangladesh put up 363/7 in 50 overs and bundled out Qatar for 35 runs in 11.4 overs.
Sarkar hit 27 boundaries and eight big sixes while Haider gave away 10 runs keeping a maiden over. Asif Ahmed well supported Sarkar hitting 87 runs off 110 balls.
Meanwhile, India defeated Malaysia by eight wickets. India restricted Malaysia at 126 runs in 39.3 overs and surpassed the target in 31 overs losing two wickets. Nepal will take on India Tuesday.
Likewise, Sri Lanka edged past Afghanistan by four wickets. Sri Lanka bundled out Afghanistan at 129 runs in 34.5 overs and met the target in 36.4 overs losing six wickets.