Nepal and Namibia in plate semis
It has been a somewhat disappointing Under-19 World Cup for the associate nations, with only one win over a full member so far, when Malaysia beat Zimbabwe in the first round. But with the plate competition now underway, the associates get the chance to get some wins under their belts.
Nepal returned to their full member beating ways of previous World Cups with victory over Zimbabwe in a low scoring game in Johor today. Batting first, Nepal were restricted to just 158, with only 40 from Puspa Thapa and extras giving the total an air of respectability.
The Zimbabwean side, whilst not as experienced as those that have played in recent Under-19 World Cups, should have had no problem knocking off that total. But they simply collapsed. Three Nepalese bowlers took three wickets each, including skipper Paras Khadka who went for just 13 runs from his seven overs. Zimbabwe were bowled out for a paltry 59 inside 30 overs, Nepal winning by an unlikely 99 runs.
After beating Zimbabwe, hosts Malaysia would have been hoping to secure a win over another African team when they met Namibia in today's other plate quarter final. But instead they crawled to 144 from 48 overs, the top score of 41 coming from captain Ahmed Faiz. Keedy Strauss, usually a batsman in the mould of his English namesake Andrew, was the pick of the Namibian bowlers with 3/15.
Namibia had little trouble knocking off their target, and Raymond van Schoor (60) and Dawid Botha (55), with 16 first-class matches between them, put on an unbroken century partnership to lead the Namibians to a nine wicket win. They will face the winner of tomorrows Bermuda v Papua New Guinea match, whilst Nepal will play either Ireland or the West Indies as they look to retain the plate title.