Pawan Sarraf’s unbeaten half century combined with a disciplined bowling from Sagar Dhakal handed Nepal a consolation 25-run win over Afghanistan in the Quadrangular U-19 One Day Series at the Ekana Inter-national Cricket Stadium in Lucknow, India, on Sunday’s match.
With India ‘A’ and India ‘B’ already securing their passage to the final, the win only gave Nepal a bragging rights ahead of their third-place playoff on Tuesday. The two Indian teams also play the title match on Tuesday. Nepal scored 189 in 49.3 overs before restricting Afghanistan to 164 in 47.4 overs.
Both the teams came to their third and final league clash after suffering defeats against the two Indian teams and Nepal were in deep trouble early on losing three quick wickets. They lost Trit R Das (4) skipper Aasif Sheikh (3) and Arun Airee (0) to be reeling at 7-3 by the fifth over.
But No 7 batsman Sarraf remained defiant and together with Sundeep Zora (28), Rashid Khan (24), Lokesh Bam (16) and Bhim Sharki (13) ensured Nepal put a fighting total on the board. Sarraf scored 78, hitting 10 fours and a six in his 96-ball knock. Zora also clobbered three boundaries and a six in his 31-ball cameo. Nawid Mohammad Kabir took three while Abid Mohammadi and Arif Khan Dawlatzai claimed two wickets each for Afghanistan.
In reply, Afghanistan opener Reyaz Hassan (38) and Abid Mohammadi gave their team a composed start putting on 40 for the first wicket. But the dismissal of Mohammadi by Kamal Singh Airee in the ninth over triggered a mini collapse that saw Afghanistan lose four wickets for 18 runs. Skipper Ijaz Ahamad Mehran tried to revive the Afghanistan innings with a half century knock but they still fell short of target.
Mehran was the ninth Afghanistan to be out after scoring 57 off 96 deliveries. Abdul Rahaman Rahmani also chipped in with 37 runs for the Afghans. Man-of-the-match Sagar Dhakal took 4-29 in his economical 10-over spell, while Kamal Singh Airee and Rashid Khan claimed two wickets each for Nepal.
Nepal 189 in 49.3 overs (P Sarraf 78*, S Zora 28; NM Kabir 3-36, A Mohammadi 2-18, AK Dawlatzai 2-13) beat Afghanistan 164 in 47.4 overs
( I Mehran 57, R Hassan 38; S Dhakal 4-29, KS Airee 2-28, R Khan 2-26) by 25 runs