Nepal look like they are the team to beat in the ACC Under 19 Elite Cup which is being held in Bangkok and Chiang Mai. Nepal overpowered Thailand by 174 runs at AIT as left-arm spinner Rahul Viswakarma returned the remarkable figures of eight for 15 after the home side had bowled well to restrict Nepal to 245 for 9 in their 50 overs.
Thailand reached 43 for one before losing their last nine wickets in 10 overs as they were bowled out for 71, but they will have a great chance to record their first win of the tournament when they play Oman on Sunday. The Omanis were beaten by United Arab Emirates by six wickets at TCG after being dismissed for a total of just 39.
Nepal may be the dominant force in Group B of the Elite Cup but there is plenty of competitive cricket being played in Group A where Bahrain and Singapore both gained their first wins in the tournament.
Bahrain pulled off the shock of the week at Chiang Mai Gymkhana by beating Qatar who had already qualified for the semi-finals. Bahrain’s total of 111 looked far too small but Cyrus D’Souza dismissed Qatar’s star player on the way to figures of 5 for 16 and they were bowled out for 99 and Bahrain could celebrate victory by 12 runs.
Singapore had come close to success in both their previous matches and finally claimed victory when they held their nerve to beat Malaysia by four wickets at PTIS Oval. Malaysia recovered from 64 for 7 to score 137 and Singapore kept their supporters on edge throughout their innings before reaching their target.
Defending champions Hong Kong must now beat Malaysia to be sure of a place in semi-finals, while the winners of the match between Afghanistan and UAE will also qualify for a place in the last four. Whoever now faces Nepal will surely have a mountain to climb.