Bikash Bista shines in Nepal's thrilling victory over Malaysia
KATHMANDU, May 9: Man-of-the-match Aakash Bista´s all-round performance that included a heroic unbeaten 55-run knock helped Nepal to top the group B in the ACC U-16 Elite Cup and remain unbeaten in the tournament on Wednesday.
Batting at No 8, Bista scored not out 55 runs off 93 balls with four boundaries and a huge six to guide the team for one wicket victory over Malaysia. Both Nepal and Malaysia have already qualified for the semifinal.
Nepali coach Manzur Alam Khan said that the players could not play as per their standard and lost wickets at regular intervals. “We were near defeat but the team spirit guided us to the victory,” said Khan. Coach Khan said the players should not repeat Wednesday´s mistakes in the semifinal.
While chasing a moderate target of 140 runs set by Malaysia, Nepal had lost its top order and middle order batsmen cheaply. Openers Dipendra Chand (5) and Nurdhoj Sen (9) could not perform as well as in the last match and failed to put up a solid opening stand.
Aashif Seikh (1), Sashi Misra (5), the match man-of-the-match of the last match Aadil Khan (6), Rabin Gupta (0) and Jagdish Chand (0) also returned pavilion quickly. Nepal had lost its seven wickets in 10.2 overs with just 41 runs on board.
Bista and Rupesh Bastola shared 29-run partnership for the eighth wicket. Bastola gave away his wicket adding 18 runs off 30 balls that included three boundaries. Bista again shared 18-run partnership with Kalicharan Yadhav. Yadhav was back to the pavilion for 11 runs off 17 balls.
An unbeaten 52-run partnership between Bista and Nepali tail Anup Neupane guided Nepal for one wicket victory. Neupane was unbeaten with 13 runs off 40 balls. Nepal received 17 runs as extras.
Sharvin Muniandy grabbed four wickets in eight overs conceding 23 runs. Pavandeep Singh and Ainool Yatim shared two wickets each. One Nepali batsman was short to the crease.
Earlier Malaysia had won the toss and scored 139 runs in 37.1 overs losing all wickets. Amin Amanda was the highest scorer for Malaysia with 28 runs off 28 balls with a boundary and a six. Opener Virandeep Singh scored 26 runs off 70 balls with two boundaries.
Shankar Goonasagaran and Sharvin Muniandy scored 12 runs each. Nepali bowlers conceded 35 runs as extras.
Bista was the successful bowler for Nepal as he grabbed two wickets and was instrumental in the run out dismissal of two Malaysian batsmen. Kalicharan Yadhav, Rupesh Bastola and Dipendra Chand shared a wicket each.
Nepal will face the last edition winner Singapore in the semifinal on Friday at Kinrara Cricket Ground.