Nepal crushes Kuwait by 8 wickets but fails to qualify for U-19 World Cup

ICC Asia U-19 World Cup Qualifier

KATHMANDU, April 18: Nepal U-19 cricket team failed to qualify for the 2020 U-19 World Cup even after thrashing Kuwait U-19 by eight wickets in the ICC Asia U-19 World Cup Qualifier in Malaysia on Thursday.

Only the group winner of the six non-Test playing nations could qualify for the 13th edition of U-19 World Cup to be held in South Africa from 17 January to 9 February next year.

Nepal, with its fourth win, accumulated eight points from five matches. Nepal’s hopes of qualifying for the eighth world cup were dented by the rain as the United Arab Emirates (UAE) beat Nepal by 1 run under DL method. UAE was 122/3 chasing a target of 247 runs when the rain interrupted and washed out the play.

Nepal was hoping the UAE lose to Oman to turn back their fortune. But, the UAE routed Oman by 10 wickets earlier in the morning—registering a fifth win in five matches to top the group with 10 points. UEA chased a target of 106 runs without losing a wicket in 12.1 overs.

At Kinrara Academy Oval in Kuala Lumpur, the Kuwaitis, after losing the toss and sent to bat first, posted a target of 157 runs in 49.4 over. Noman Budroo top-scored for Kuwait hitting 70 runs off 120 balls hitting eight boundaries. Nepal skipper took three wickets. Kushal Malla, Surya Tamang and Rashid Khan took two wickets each.

In reply, Nepal reached the target in 28 overs at the loss of two wickets. A solid 93-run partnership between openers Rit Gautam (62) and Pawan Sarraf (53) consolidated the innings and Aasif Sheikh (33 not out) and Sundeep Jora (5) handed the teenage Rhinos their fourth win. Gautam hit seven fours while Sarraf made eight boundaries and one six.

The UAE will travel to South Africa as the 13th nation to join Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies, Zimbabwe and Nigeria. Top eleven full members of the International Cricket Council (ICC) had automatically qualified for the tournament except for Ireland. Nigeria was the first team to qualify from the regional qualification tournament.

Three nations from America Division 1, (East-Asia Pacific) EAP Division 1 and Europe Division 1 are yet to join the group.