Dropped catches proved costly as Singapore lost the final of the Asian Cricket Council Under-16 Eastern Region tournament to Nepal by 71 runs in Bangkok on Sunday (December 17).
On a day when very little went in their favour, captain Aman Desai lost the toss as Nepal decided to bat on a placid wicket at the Terdthai Cricket Ground.
Still, Singapore’s opening bowlers managed to reduce Nepal to 66-4 in 15.5 overs, before fielding lapses allowed their rivals to get out of the hole.
Skipper Bishal Bikram anchored Nepal’s innings with 63 runs off 79 balls, as Trit Raj Das (19/22), Sunil Bhandari (15/37) and Narayan Joshi (46 not out/23) gave him ample support.
They put on 117 runs in 19 overs as Nepal ended their innings with a flourish at 183-6 in 35 overs. The Nepalese batsmen capitalised on the second lives they got as the Singapore fielders dropped five catches.
For Singapore, left-arm spinner Ishaan Sawney (2-31) was again the top wicket-taker. Pranav Sudarshan, Raoul Sharma and Pramesh Singhavi took a wicket each.
In reply, the Singapore batsmen found it difficult to score as the wicket began to turn.
Only opener Sai Harsha Venugopal (31/65) offered any resistance, scoring 31 off 65 balls, as Singapore lost wickets at regular intervals.
Surya Tamang (3-20) and Ajay Kumar Loniya (3-16) were the chief wreckers as Singapore were bowled out for 112 in 31.5 overs.
“Winning the toss was a big advantage and Nepal’s batsmen took advantage of the second chances they got by putting up a good score,” said Singapore’s coach Chetan Suryawanshi. “Our fielders, who had fielded so well in the previous matches, had an off day. Then the pitch began to turn and they had the spinners to do the job.”
Aman conceded Nepal were the better side. “It was one of those days when nothing went right for us,” he said. “That’s cricket. The plus point is that we gained a lot from the tournament. We showed that we are among the best in the region when it comes to batting, bowling and fielding. This experience will help us when we play cricket at a higher level.”
Singapore all-rounder Ishaan was declared the Player of the Tournament. He scored 135 runs in five matches at an average of 67.50 and took nine wickets at an average of 9.89 runs.