Nepal and Afghanistan continued their winning ways on the second day of the U19s CWC 2018 Asia Qualifiers. Nepal saw off Malaysia while the Afghans made light work once again of their chase against Singapore.
At the Indian Association Ground, hosts Singapore decided to bat after winning the toss. The Afghan opening pace duo of Zazi and Murid were soon celebrating a wicket a piece in their first overs reducing Singapore to 4-2. Singapore captain, Janak Prakash held the fort as two more wickets fell and he was joined by Aryaman Uchil at the middle. The pair put on the most meaningful partnership of the Singapore innings of 39 runs before Uchil fell victim to Zazi for 28 (22). The Afghans might have felt a sense of relief seeing the back of Uchil who smashed 4 boundaries and one six and a prolonged stay at the crease could have added some very valuable runs to Singapore’s target. Prakash fell to Zazi for his grafted innings of 15 (54) and with another late contribution of 15 (16) by Bhargava, Singapore could only manage 92 runs as they were bowled out in the 27th over. Afghan paceman Yosuf Zazi the pick of the Afghan bowling attack with his five wicket haul.
The Afghan chase began with openers Obaid and Mohamaddi getting through some tight opening overs putting on a solid platform of 59 before Obaid 30 (41) was dismissed, bowled by the left arm spin of Aahan Achar. Afghanistan did not looked fazed in their continuing pursuit of the modest target and even as pace bowler Iyer snared another two wickets, an Afghan victory was never a question, winning by 7 wickets. Yosuf Zazi named Man of the Match for his bowling heroics. “Singapore captain Janak Prakash shared his views on the encounter with Afghanistan saying that prior this event, Singapore had played the Afghans in the group stages of the Youth Asia Cup and although they had lost heavily in that encounter, the team did not want to keep that in mind as they approached this fixture and to try to play to their strengths. He felt that it was a better batting performance as compared to the match against Nepal but still feels that the batting department could do more to try and post totals that he feels that Singapore’s bowling attack is very capable of defending.”
Malaysia’s batting woes continued against Nepal at the Singapore Cricket Club as they succumbed to their second defeat in a row. Malaysia’s batting line up had no answers to the Nepalese bowling attack led by Sandeep Lamichhane, which tore through their ranks, dismissing them for a paltry 58 runs. Lamichhane once again earning himself a five wicket haul and proving to be a lethal bowling option for Nepal. Malaysia’s scorecard also making for sorry reading as not a single batsman managed to post a double figure score during their innings.
Malaysia started their defence with some disciplined bowling and had Nepal 8-1 in the second over. Nepal’s innings gathered some steam after the early loss and with the lack of an imposing target ahead of them, Nepal won the match with almost 42 overs to spare and not only earning themselves a win, but also a short day out in the sun. However, it could prove to be a slight concern to the Nepalese coach and captain that they had lost five wickets in doing so and probably an area of their game that would need shaping up if there are to stake claim for a spot in New Zealand in 2018. Sandeep Lamicchane rightfully being named Man of the Match for his excellent spell of 5- 17 of 8.5 overs.
The 20th of July fixtures will make for some mouth-watering encounters as geographical neighbours and cricketing rivals, Singapore and Malaysia square off at the Indian Association and qualification contenders Nepal and Afghanistan go head to head for the all-important win.
For results, live scores and information on the ICC U19 CWC 2018 Division 1 - Asia please go to :