KATHMANDU, May 10: Nepali U-16 cricket team captain Dipendra Chand and his teammate Jagadish Chand were also members of the Nepali U-16 team that finished runner-up in the first ACC U-16 Elite Cup held in Kathmandu in 2010. Singapore had defeated Nepal by 68 runs in the final of the first edition.
After two years, the Nepali U-16 team will have an opportunity to avenge that defeat when it takes on Singapore again in the semifinals of the ongoing second edition of the tournament. Nepal will lock horns with Singapore at the Kinrara Oval Ground, Malaysia on Friday.
Nepal topped Group B winning all the four matches played in the group stage of the tournament. Nepal recorded a 78-run win against Kuwait in the first match, defeated Bahrain by eight wickets and humbled Iran by 167 runs. The Nepali team pulled off a thrilling one-wicket victory over the host Malaysia on Wednesday.
On the other hand, Singapore lost to Thailand by 9 runs in the first match of Group ´A´ but bounced back with a 12-run win over Oman. Singapore then registered another narrow-margin victory in the last group match defeating Hong Kong by seven runs.
The Nepali team under coach Manzur Alam Khan has been producing an all-round performance so far. Captain Chand, Adil Khan, Jagadish Chand and Akash Bista have scored a half-century each during the tournament. Bista was the hero in Nepal´s victory over Malaysia as he scored an unbeaten 55 runs to rescue the Nepali team from 41/7 to a one-wicket victory while chasing a 140-run target.
Likewise, Nepali opener Nurdhoj Sen has been impressive and pacer Kali Charan Yadav has also been effective as he has claimed four wickets twice in the tournament. Bista and spinner Rupesh Bastola have also impressed with their bowling.
On the other hand, defending champion Singapore has not excelled in batting. Singapore could not chase a 91-run target against Thailand and was bowled out for 80 runs. Singapore scored only 142 runs and 87 runs respectively against Oman and Hong Kong but won both the matches with the help of effective bowling.
In the other semifinal of the tournament, host Malaysia will face Group A winner Oman at the Bayuemas Oval Ground on Friday.