Nepal Secures Historic Victory Over Afghanistan in ICC U-19 World Cup

Nepal secured a historic victory over Afghanistan in the ICC U-19 World Cup-2024, advancing to the 'Super Six' stage for the first time. After Akash Chand's career-best bowling performance, Nepal chased down Afghanistan's target of 146, winning by one wicket. This triumph marks Nepal's first-ever win against Afghanistan in a Youth World Cup cricket match.

Kathmandu, Nepal- January 26, 2024

In a thrilling encounter at Buffalo Park in East London, Nepal emerged victorious against Afghanistan in the ICC U-19 World Cup-2024, securing their place in the coveted ‘Super Six’ stage. Akash Chand, with a career-best bowling performance, played a pivotal role in Nepal’s triumph over Afghanistan, marking a historic win for the Nepalese U-19 cricket team.

The crucial group stage match, a must-win for Nepal to advance to the ‘Super Six,’ unfolded as the Nepalese team won the toss and chose to field first. Afghanistan set a target of 146 runs for Nepal, but the resilient Nepalese side managed to chase it down, losing 9 wickets in the process.

This victory not only propels Nepal into the ‘Super Six’ but also marks their first-ever win against Afghanistan in a Youth World Cup cricket match. Having struggled in Group ‘D,’ Afghanistan, unfortunately, dropped out of the ‘Super Six,’ while New Zealand, Pakistan, and Nepal advanced from the group. Akash Chand’s exceptional performance on Friday showcased his prowess on the field. In the fourth ball of the first over, Gulshan Jha’s brilliant catch dismissed Afghanistan’s Numan Shah off the bowling of Deepak Dumre. Akash Chand continued to wreak havoc on Afghanistan’s innings, claiming wickets with finesse.

Khalid Taniwal fell victim to Akash’s prowess in just 1.3 overs, caught by wicketkeeper Bipin Rawal. In the seventh over, Afghanistan’s reliable opener, Jamshid Zadran, was bowled out by Akash Chand, adding to the devastation. Sohail Khan and Ali Ahmed also succumbed to Akash’s brilliance, leaving Afghanistan in a dire situation.

With six wickets down in just 11.3 overs and a meager 43 runs on the board, Afghanistan found themselves in a precarious position. The twelfth over saw Mohammad Ghazanfar’s dismissal without opening his account, further denting Afghanistan’s hopes. However, Ghazanfar later staged a comeback, scoring an impressive 37 runs in 20 balls, including three sixes. His resilient innings provided a lifeline for Afghanistan, boosting the morale of the team and helping them inch closer to the 150-run mark.

Captain Nasir Khan and Faridon Dawdzai played crucial innings, forming a partnership of 55 runs for the eighth wicket. Despite their efforts, Nepal’s bowlers, led by Akash Chand, maintained their composure. Dipesh Kandel contributed with three wickets, while Tilak Bhandari and Subhash Bhandari each took one, restricting Afghanistan to a challenging but achievable total.

Nepal’s innings, though, were not without their share of drama. Chasing the target of 146, Nepal lost wickets at regular intervals but managed to secure a nail-biting victory in the end. With nine wickets down and 145 runs on the board in 44.4 overs, Nepal secured their place in the ‘Super Six,’ setting the stage for a thrilling campaign in the next stage of the ICC U-19 World Cup.

Having overcome the hurdle of the group stage and achieved a historic win against Afghanistan, Nepal is now set to face the yet-to-be-decided opponent from Group ‘A’ in the ‘Super Six.’ Group ‘A’ includes cricket powerhouses India and Bangladesh, along with Ireland and the USA. The outcome of the remaining matches in Group ‘A’ will determine the team that Nepal will face in the upcoming stage of the tournament.

Akash Chand’s outstanding performance, particularly his five-wicket haul against Afghanistan, has not only propelled Nepal into the ‘Super Six’ but has also elevated him to a standout performer in the ICC U-19 World Cup. As Nepal celebrates this historic victory, cricket enthusiasts eagerly anticipate the team’s performance in the upcoming matches, as they aim to make a mark on the world stage after an eight-year hiatus from the ICC U-19 World Cup.