The Sri Lankans won the toss and opted to bat, in the hope of putting a big score. However, that was not the case as the charged up Nepalese bowlers had other plan, especially medium pace man Amrit Bhattarai who has a field day claiming four wickets.
Bhattarai struck early in the match when he had opening batsmen Dinesh Chandimal (1) caught behind by Mahesh Chhetri with only nine runs on the board. Four runs latter Bhattarai broke through Kusal Janith Perera"s (3) defence , shattering the stumps with beauty to cause some concerns to the Sri Lankan camp.
Bhattarai"s next victim cam in the form of R.Lahiru Thirimanne (17), caught by skipper Paras Khadka at first slip at the of the 11th over as Sir Lanka struggled at 37 and Khadka soon followed up with a stunning catch at first slip to remove Anjelo Perera (8) as Sri Lanka slumped to 58-4 in the 15th over. At the conclusion of the 17th over, Bhattarai had concluded his quota of 10 over and caused a massive damage to the opponents.
However a 72-runs partnership for the fifth wicket between skipper Ashan Priyanjan (46) and Sachith Pathirana (62) steadied the middle order as they prodded the score to 130 before Priyanjan left the crease stumped by Mahesh off B. K Rahul for a well played innings. Pathirana completed his half century just before the second water interval with the score reading 147 for five in 34 over. Two over later it was all over for Pathirana, caught at deep long on by Puspa Thapa off B.K Rahul for a well complied innings of 62 as Sri Lanka" innings of 236.
If we had taken the catch offered by Sachith Pathirana early in his innings, things might have been different," said Nepal team manager Tarax Dixit.
The Sri Lankans, one for the favourite to reach the semifinals, had to set a 230 to 250 target.
“To get the scores of 236 after a few lapses in the batting department was considered a fine effort, “said Ashley de Silva. “ The Nepalese fielded well and the opening bowler Bhattarai Amrit exploited the conditions to bowl very well," added Ashley.
In reply Nepal had a splendid start when both opening batsmen Mahesh Chhetri (39) and Anil Mandal (25) put on 61 run partnership for the first wicket. Anil was well caught at the first slip by Angelo Perera off Sachith for his personal score of 25. Sachith then caught and bowled to remove Gyanendra Malla for seven as the score stood at 78 in the 19th over.
Mahesh departed shortly after, caught behind by Dinesh Chandimal off Umesh Karunarethne.
Aakash Gupta bowled round his legs by Navin Kavikara for 24 with the score at 128 for four in the 34th over. Three runs later Khadka was cleaned bowled by Angelo Perera for 25 and was soon followed by Puspa Thapa (2), stumped by Dinesh off Kavikara with the score at 135-6.
The seventh wicket fell when Sagar Khadka was bowled by Angelo for eight runs as they struggled at 152 in the 42nd over. Rahul B.K. was then stumped in Pathirana"s second spell for 10 leaving Nepal staring in defeat at 153-8. Abhaya Rana was run out for nine off a direct hit by Chatura Peiris and Nepal folded when Raj Shrestha was bowled by Umesh with the final score of 175.
Sri Lanka next play Australia on Friday at the Penang Sports Club.