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30 January 201617:00

​Incredible Nepal U19 sails into Super League stage

Side canters to eight-wicket win, after Lamichhane's five-for, including a hat-trick, restricts Ireland to 131 for 9

​Incredible Nepal U19 sails into Super League stage - Cricket News
“We have played them before. Our plan will be to get rid of their openers inside the first ten overs and bowl them out inside 150,” said Aarif Sheikh, when asked what would Nepal Under-19’s plan be against Ireland Under-19 in the Group D game of the ICC Under-19 World Cup on Saturday (January 30).

What transpired at the Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium in Fatullah was even better for Nepal. Ireland managed just 131 for 9 after winning the toss, and Nepal chased down the target in 25.3 overs to win by eight wickets and qualify for the Super League stage for the first-ever time in the history of the tournament.

The game started with Jack Tector, the captain, and Stephen Doheny put on 39 runs for the opening wicket, but once Sunil Dhamala had Doheny caught for 14 in the 15th over, Ireland came undone.

Sandeep Lamichhane, the legspinner, was the centre-piece of Nepal’s dominating bowling show as he finished with figures of 5 for 27, which included a hat-trick. His first wicket came in the 23rd over when he had Gary McClintock caught for 3. While his first spell read 3-0-10-1, he singlehandedly changed the game’s flow when he came back for his second spell in the 32nd over.

Lorcan Tucker, who had batted quite well against India, failed to connect a sweep and was caught by Dipendra Singh Airee at mid-wicket. Off the very next ball, Adam Dennison’s attempt to cut on 21 led to an edge that Raju Rijal, the wicketkeeper-captain, accepted behind the stumps. Fiachra Tucker, Lorcan’s younger brother, was bowled as Lamichhane became the first bowler in this edition to pick up a hat-trick.

Lamichhane struck again in his next over as William McClintock, Gary’s twin, was bowled. Lamichhane finished with figures of 10-0-27-5, as he became the third Nepal bowler, after Rahul Vishvakarma (6 for 3 against Papua New Guinea in 2012) and Bhuvan Karki (5 for 21 against Namibia in 2012), to record a five-wicket haul in Youth One-Day Internationals.

Airee, the right-arm seamer, like in the win against New Zealand, was used as sixth bowler and picked up two wickets towards the end to keep a check on Ireland’s innings.

Nepal then lost Sandeep Sunar off the first ball of their chase when Joshua Little, one of Ireland’s finds in this tournament, trapped him lbw. Dhamala and Yogendra Karki, however, took charge of the proceedings with a steady 55-run partnership for the second wicket.

After Dhamala fell for 28, Karki and Sheikh, the vice-captain, finished off the job with an unbroken 77-run partnership. Karki remained not out on 61, while Sheikh helped himself to a 36-ball 31.

Nepal will now play India in Mirpur on February 1, and the winner of that game will take the top Group D.