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U19 Asia Cup: India brushes aside Nepal

Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh also post wins
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Kuldeep Yadav’s five-wicket haul set up a convincing nine-wicket win for India against Nepal in the Under 19 Asia Cup’s Group A clash at the ICC Academy in Dubai on Sunday (December 29).
 
While India chased down the 137-run target in 25.1 overs for the loss of just one wicket, only three batsmen reached double figures for Nepal. Yadav accounted for five of the top six batsmen, dismissing three of them in under four overs. Bibhatsu Thapa and Aarif Sheikh attempted to rebuild the innings with a 64-run stand for the sixth wicket, but Yadav returned to have Thapa caught behind for 47 in the 40th over.
 
Sheikh fell soon after as Nepal was bowled out for 136 in the 45th over. The spin duo of Karan Kaila and Sarfaraz Khan contributed with two wickets apiece. Akhil Herwadkar and Vijay Zol, the India captain, put up an opening stand of 131 as Herwadkar, who had scored a century in India’s win over UAE on Saturday, raced to a 67-ball 71 before he was bowled by Bhuvan Karki. Zol remained unbeaten on 61.
 
Meanwhile, on a docile batting track at the Sharjah Stadium, Karamat Ali, a little-known 17-year-old from Lahore, took 5 for 25 to lead Pakistan to a resounding 150-run win over the UAE in the other Group A fixture. Half-centuries from Hasan Raza (60) and Saud Shakeel (74) helped Pakistan post 274 before UAE batsmen crumbled in the face of Karamat’s leggies.
 
“He (Karamat) wasn’t actually in the plans to be selected for this tour, he wasn’t in the limelight, but he performed brilliantly in the national U19 tournament,” said Ali Zia, the Pakistan team manager. “As a legspinner, we thought he could be very useful over here. He bowls the googly, has very good variation, he is a useful fielder and he has also scored some valuable runs for his team.”
 
A second win in successive days has also set Pakistan up neatly for Tuesday’s (December 31) encounter with the undefeated India side in Dubai.
 
In Group B, Sri Lanka put itself in a strong position to qualify for the semifinals, beating Malaysia by 255 runs at the Abu Dhabi Cricket Council Oval 2. Set 288 for a win, Malaysia failed to get off the blocks. Anuk Fernando, the left-arm pacer, ran through the top order to leave Malaysia struggling at 5 for 4. Harvindran Rajendran was the only batsman to reach double figures – he scored ten runs – as Binura Fernando, the left-arm pacer, claimed 4 for 12 in 6.3 overs to dismantle the Malaysian chase. Earlier, three Sri Lankan batsmen – Sadeera Samarawickrama, Priyamal Perera and Thilaksha Sumanasiri – scored half-centuries to take Sri Lanka’s total to 288 for 6.
 
It was a perfect response from Sri Lanka after it lost its opening game to Afghanistan by three wickets. It now has to beat Bangladesh, the Group B leaders with four points from its two wins. Even after a win, the net run-rate will decide Sri Lanka's fate.
 
If Afghanistan beat Malaysia, there could be three teams tied atop Group B with four points each. Two teams advance to the semifinals. At the moment, Sri Lanka top the run-rate charts with plus-2.483. Bangladesh is on plus-1.616 and Afghanistan minus-0.062.
 
Bangladesh, on Sunday, made it two out of two after a 16-run win over Afghanistan in a low-scoring clash at Oval 1. Bangladesh restricted Afghanistan to 153 in 48.4 overs after Nazmul Hossain Shanto’s 58 helped post a fighting total of 169.

 
Brief scores
 
Group A
 
At Dubai: Nepal U19 136 all out, 44.4 overs (Bibhatsu Thapa 47, Aarif Sheikh 40; Kuldeep Yadav 5-31, Karan Kaila 2-14, Sarfaraz Khan 2-7) 
India U19 137-1, 25.1 overs (Akhil Herwadkar 71, Vijay Zol 61 not out) 
Result: India U19 won by nine wickets.
 
At Sharjah: Pakistan U19 274/9, 50 overs (Saud Shakeel 74, Hasan Raza 60; Pankaj Prakash 4-63, Dan D'Souza 2-25)
United Arab Emirates U-19 124, 38. overs (Chirag Suri 38, Shivank Vijayakumar 37; Karamat Ali 5-25) by 150 runs.
Result: Pakistan U19 win by 150 runs.

Group B
 
At Abu Dhabi: Sri Lanka U19 287/6, 50 overs (Priyamal Perera 68, Thilaksha Sumanasiri 59; Pavandeep Singh 3-60)
Malaysia U19 32 in 22.3 overs (Anuk Fernando 3-11, Binura Fernando 4-12).
Result: Sri Lanka U19 won by 255 runs.

At Abu Dhabi: Bangladesh U19 169, 45.1 overs (Mosaddek Hossain 27, Nazmul Hossain Shanto 58; Sayed Shirzad 3-33, Abdullah Adil 3-26, Mohammad Mujtaba 2-32)
Afghanistan U-19 153, 48.4 overs (Muslim Musa 22, Nasir Ahmadzai 53; Mustafizur Rahman 2-19, Mehedy Hasan 2-23).
Result: Bangladesh U19 win by 16 runs 
 

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