Nepal have a history of beating full members at Under-19 level, with wins over Pakistan, New Zealand, Bangladesh, South Africa and Zimbabwe under their belts. They came close to another famous win in the Under-19 Asia Cup today in Sri Lanka, falling agonisingly close against the hosts.
Sri Lanka were put into bat after Nepal captain Sandeep Lamichhane won the toss, and Nepal bowled well to restrict them to 227-8 from their 50 overs. Hasitha Boyagoda top scored for them with 83, whilst Kamal Singh was the pick of the bowlers with 3-43.
Nepal lost both their openers cheaply, but Dipendra Airee held their reply together, chipping away at the total as the innings progressed. With five overs to go, Nepal needed 31, with Kamal Singh having joined Dipendra in the middle. Singles and the occasional boundary got Nepal closer, with Singh hitting a six from the last ball of the 48th over to leave Nepal needing ten from the last two overs with three wickets in hand.
Singh was run out from the first ball of the 49th, and there was another run out before the over was through. Eight needed from the last, and Airee hit the second ball for six, leaving just two runs needed from the last four balls.
But the elation of the six soon turned to heartbreak when Praveen Jayawickrama had Airee trapped lbw for 90 with the very next ball, leaving Nepal one run short of the Sri Lanka total.
None of the other associates got as close, with Afghanistan being bowled out for 146 against Bangladesh. Saif Hassan then led the Bangladeshi run chase with 67 as they won by four wickets.
Singapore were dismissed for just 79 against Pakistan, who knocked off the required runs in just 8.3 overs to win by 9 wickets. India scored 289-8 batting first against Malaysia, who were bundled out for just 54 to lose by 235 runs.
The tournament continues tomorrow, with Nepal playing India and Malaysia playing Sri Lanka in group A. In Group B, Singapore play Bangladesh and Afghanistan play Pakistan.
Sri Lanka Under-19s beat Nepal Under-19s by 1 run
Nondescripts, Colombo, 15 December
Sri Lanka Under-19s 227-8 (50 overs, H Boyagoda 83, A Bandara 48*, Kamal Singh 3-43)
Nepal Under-19s 226 (49.3 overs, D Airee 90, A Karn 40, Aadil Khan 39, K Mendis 3-37)
Bangladesh Under-19s beat Afghanistan Under-19s by 4 wickets
Uyanwatte Stadium, Matara, 15 December
Afghanistan Under-19s 146 (48.3 overs, Qazi Onik 4-22, Mukidul Islam 3-29)
Bangladesh Under-19s 150-6 (43.1 overs, Saif Hassan 67)
Pakistan Under-19s beat Singapore Under-19s by 9 wickets
Galle International Stadium, 15 December
Singapore Under-19s 79 (25.1 overs, Shaheen Afradi 3-27)
Pakistan Under-19s 80-1 (8.3 overs, Muhammad Mohsin Khan 56*)
India Under-19s beat Malaysia Under-19s by 235 runs
Colombo Cricket Club, 15 December
India Under-19s 289-8 (50 overs, P Shaw 89, Abhishek Sharma 59, H Patel 58*, Muhammad Amir 3-33)
Malaysia Under-19s 54 (22.3 overs, N Nagarkoti 4-12)