Dhaka: Pakistan recorded a convincing six-wicket win against neighbor Afghanistan while qualifier Nepal caused the first major upset of the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2016 when it stunned New Zealand by 32 runs. in a Group D match in Fatullah on Thursday.
In a Group B game played in Sylhet, Pakistan crushed Afghanistan by six wickets. Pakistan’s leg-spinner Shadab Khan grabbed four for nine in five overs and seamer Hasan Mohsin took three for 24 as Afghanistan was bundled out for 126 after being sent in to bat.
Tariq Stanikzai scored a fine 53, but eight batsmen failed to reach double-figures against the sustained pressure applied by the Pakistanis.
Pakistan surpassed the modest target in the 32nd over with Zeeshan Malik making 29, Hasan Mohsin an unbeaten 28 and Mohammad Umar 25.
In a Group D match in Fatullah on Thursday, Nepal, which won the qualifying event in Malaysia last year to return to the World Cup after missing the previous tournament in 2014, bowled out the Kiwis, which was chasing 239 for victory, for 206.
While captain Raju Rijal top-scored for Nepal with 48, seamer Dipender Airee’s three wickets and off-spinner Prem Tamang’s two helped clinch the dramatic win.
Dale Phillips scored 41 to make a late victory bid for New Zealand before he was last out to spark joyous celebrations in the Nepalese camp.
In another Group B game also played in Sylhet, Sri Lanka overpowered Canada by 196 runs. Sri Lanka showed why it is one of the tournament favourites when it rattled up 315 for six after electing to bat against Canada.
Skipper Charith Asalanka led the way with 76 off 69 balls, the in-form Shammu Ashan hit 74 off 61 balls, Kaveen Bandara made 61 and wicket-keeper Vishad de Silva scored 51.
Canada was shot out for 119 in reply with Arslan Khan playing a lone hand with an unbeaten 42. Lahiru Kumara, Thilan Nimesh and Damitha Silva claimed two wickets each.
Three-time champion India overcame a shaky start against Ireland to open its campaign with a 79-run victory in Mirpur in another Group D match, which was produced by ICC TV and aired around the world by 15 broadcasters.
India was reduced to 55 for four after being sent in to bat, before Sarfaraz Khan and Washington Sundar pulled their team out of trouble with a 110-run stand for the fifth wicket.
Sarfaraz smashed 74 off 70 balls with included seven boundaries, while left-handed Sundar hit a polished 62.
Irish seamers Rory Anders and Joshua Little picked up three wickets each, but tail-ender Zeeshan Ansari boosted India’s total with a run-a-ball 36 at the end.
Ireland was bowled out for 189 in reply as Rahul Batham took three for 15 and Avesh Khan finished with two for 24.
The 11th edition of the biennial 16-nation tournament features nine Test-playing nations and seven Associate and Affiliate Members – Afghanistan, Canada, Fiji, Namibia, Nepal, Ireland and Scotland.
Teams have been divided into four groups with the top two in each advancing to the Super League quarter-finals and the other two qualifying for the Plate championships.