March 3, 2023
KATHMANDU – Nepal have qualified for the ICC U-19 Men’s Cricket World Cup 2024 after they defeated the United Arab Emirates by seven runs to secure top position in the Asian Regional Qualifier in Ajman on Thursday.
Opting to bat first, the young Rhino gave the UAE a 192-run target at the Eden Garden Oval.
Captain Dev Khanal smashed three boundaries and a six to score 51 runs off 84 balls, before being caught by Aayan Afzal Khan in the 27.5 overs.
Bishal Bikram KC made 38 off 50 balls and Uttam Rangu Thapa Magar hit 36 off 48 balls of 50. Both KC and Magar also fell leg before wicket (lbw) to Aayan Afzal Khan.
In the run chase, openers Aryansh Sharma and Aryan Saxena gave the UAE a bright start scoring 32 and 34 runs respectively.
Ethan Carl D’Souza then scored a half-century off 66 balls to anchor the UAE innings after Dhurv Parashar contributed 17 runs.
Ammar Badami (19), Maroof Merchant (12 not out) and Harsh Desai (7) put the UAE in control of the match at 184-8, with the hosts needing eight runs from 15 balls to secure their spot in the World Cup next year.
But Dipesh Kandel took a stunning hat-trick in the 48th over to polish off the tail and guide Nepal to the Sri Lanka finals—their first final appearance since 2016.
The fifth consecutive victory means Nepal also wrapped the Qualifier unbeaten.
Player-of-the-match Kandel returned the match figures of 5-31.
Nepal U-19 team will join Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, Ireland, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies, and Zimbabwe—who qualified for the 2024 World Cup as the best-placed full-member nations from the previous edition of the World Cup in 2022.
The remaining four spots will be fulfilled through the East-Asia Pacific, Africa, Europe, and Americas Qualifier.