U19WC :FOUR ASIAN SIDES ENTER SUPER LEAGUE QUARTER-FINALS
Four Asian sides – India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka –advanced to the Super League quarter-finals of the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup in Bangladesh with their second successive wins on Saturday.
India and Nepal, which took the two top spots in Group D at the expense of New Zealand and Ireland, will clash on Monday in their last league match to decide the group winner. The match will be produced by the ICC TV and will be aired around the world by 15 broadcasters.
Pakistan and Sri Lanka advanced from Group B, which also included Afghanistan and Canada, and will play each other on February 3 to determine who tops the group. This match will be produced by the ICC TV and will be aired around the world by 15 broadcasters.
Nepal rode on a five-wicket haul by leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane – which included the first hat-trick in the tournament – to defeat Ireland by eight wickets and confirm its appearance in the quarter-finals.
Ireland was tied down to 131 for nine after electing to bat and Nepal, which had stunned New Zealand in its opening match, coasted home in the 26th over with Yogendra Karki making 61.
Also Read : South Africa fail to defend their Championship
Lamichhane had Lorcan Tucker and Adam Dennison caught off successive balls in his fourth over and then bowled Fiachra Tucker with his next delivery to complete the hat-trick.
“What was more important than the hat-trick was that we won an important game and qualified for the quarter-finals,” said Lamichhane. “I hope we can continue the same way in other matches.”
Nepal’s captain Raju Rijal said qualifying for the quarter-finals meant a lot to his nation.
“I am sure there will be a lot of celebrations back home because cricket is very popular in our country,” said Rijal. “Performances like these will inspire more people to play the game in Nepal.
“The team spirit is very good and we enjoy each other’s success. The target now is to get past the quarter-finals also.”
India, sent in to bat by New Zealand in Mirpur in the match which was produced by the ICC TV and aired around the world by 15 broadcasters, piled up 258 for eight with Sarfaraz Khan top-scoring with 74 for the second time in the competition. Rishabh Pant made 57 and Armaan Jaffer scored 46.
But Mahipal Lomror stood out with a fine all-round display as he followed up his 45 with the bat with five for 47 which bundled New Zealand out for 138 in the 32nd over.
Seamer Avesh Kumar, who took three wickets in his first four overs to reduce the Kiwis to five for three, finished with four for 32.
“Our first aim to make the quarter-finals has been realised, but we cannot afford to relax,” said India captain Ishan Kishan. “We need to top the group, so the match against Nepal will be very important.
“I am confident because the batsmen are in form and the bowlers too are doing well. It is good that the seamers and spinners have got used to conditions here.”
New Zealand captain Josh Finnie blamed his team’s low total on the regular fall of wickets. “The hat-trick really did us in and our batsmen could not get enough runs on the board.”
Sri Lanka survived a tense run-chase by Afghanistan before clinching victory and a place in the quarter-finals.
Skipper Charith Asalanka top-scored with 71 in Sri Lanka’s modest 184 all out, but Afghanistan was itself bowled out for 151 despite opener Karim Janat’s 40 and Waheedullah Shafaq’s 47.
Kamindu Mendis, who possesses a rare talent of bowling both right-arm off-spin and left-arm orthodox spin, claimed three wickets for 36 runs.
Pakistan scored a seven-wicket win over Canada after bowling out the unfancied rival for 178. Hasan Khan took three wickets and Shadab Khan took two.
The Pakistanis surpassed the target in the 41st over with Zeeshan Malik making 89 and Saif Badar 44.
Pakistan captain Gohar Hafeez said he was satisfied with the way the tournament was progressing for his team.
“We are batting and bowling well and that is a good sign,” he said. “We will be well prepared for the Sri Lanka game because we want to win and top the group.”
The 11th edition of the biennial 16-nation tournament features nine Test-playing nations and seven Associate and Affiliate Members – Afghanistan, Canada, Fiji, Namibia, Nepal, Ireland and Scotland.
The West Indies took the last quarter-final spot in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup Bangladesh 2016 with a thrilling, but controversial, two-run win over Zimbabwe on Tuesday that gave it second place in Group C behind England.
Teams have been divided into four groups with the top two in each advancing to the Super League quarter-finals and the other two qualifying for the Plate championships.
Source : ICC