First blood to Nepal and USA in Malaysia
Nepal made the best possible start to their Under-19 World Cup qualifying campaign on Thursday, dismissing Papua New Guinea for just 48 at the Kinrara Academy Oval and then knocking off the runs in 9.1 overs for the loss of one wicket.
Aarif Sheikh started the collapse in the third over when he trapped Vagi Guba leg-before, but it was Sunil Dhamala who really did the damage, as with four wickets in three overs he reduced the opposition to 10 for six.
Of the top and middle order only Doura Gavera showed any real resistance, lasting for 14 overs and compiling a defiant 9, but when Dhamala added his scalp to finish with five for 15, PNG were on 23 for nine and seemed to doomed to a record low total.
Final pair Nou Toua and Lohia Guba had other ideas, however, and against the Nepalese change bowlers they showed some defiant aggression, putting on 25 in nine overs and hitting three sixes before Sheikh returned and bowled Guba for 13.
Nepal soon lost opener Sandeep Sunar when they replied, but Dhamala crowned an outstanding personal performance with an unbeaten 24 as he and Yogendra Karki (16 not out) finished the job in double-quick time.
Meanwhile, at the Royal Selangor Club, the USA posted an opening victory against Uganda, led by an excellent undefeated 66 from opener Sagar Patel.
Uganda began briskly after winning the toss, with Zephania Arinaitwe going after America's Keifer Phill, but then Gaurav Patenkar removed Brian Adriko, and when Phill had his revenge by catching the dangerous Arinaitwe off the bowling of Anirudh Srinivas the pace of the Ugandan innings began to slow.
John Gabula contributed a patient 37, but two run-outs did not help the Ugandan cause, and despite a bright 48-ball 38 not out from Kenneth Waiswa, who hit four fours and a six, the African side were eventually dismissed for a fairly modest 167 in 45.2 overs.
Patenkar was the most successful of the American bowlers with three for 23, while Gauranshu Sharma took two for 33.
Waiswa then bowled Srihari Dasarathy with the first ball of the American innings, and when Arjun Patel soon followed it looked as if Uganda might have a change of defending their total.
But Patel was solid at the other end, and he and skipper Kushal Ganji put on 47 before the latter was bowled by Derrick Bakunzi for 27. Sharma did not stay long, but then Tohidul Islam joined Patel, and this pair proceeded to produce the best partnership of the match, adding 86 in an unbeaten fifth-wicket stand.
Islam reached a well-deserved half-century which included three fours and two sixes, but it was Patel's effort at the top of the order which ensured the Americans' six-wicket win and earned him the Man of the Match award.