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Nepal stun South Africa

Last updated on: February 19, 2004 09:48 IST

On a day of upsets at the ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup, Nepal created the biggest shock with a dramatic last-over victory against South Africa at the Chittagong Divisional Stadium.

With nine wickets down Nepal needed eight runs from the last over. Their number 11 Shashi Kesari rose to the challenge to hit a match-winning boundary with two balls to spare.

South Africa won the toss and elected to bat but from that point onwards it was Nepal's day. The South Africans were soon reeling at 12 for 4 in the seventh over. Eighteen overs later they were 62 for seven.

Manjeet Shrestha did the early damage as South Africa could find no answer to his accurate right-arm fast-medium bowling. Shrestha picked up three of South Africa's top five wickets and finished with 4 for 15 from his allotted 10 overs.

Shrestha was ably supported by Paras Khadka (2 for 22), Shakti Gauchan (2 for 28) and Lakpa Lama (2 for 34). Only a determined 52 not out from number nine Keegan Africa added a degree of respectability to the South Africa total. The tenth wicket fell to the final ball of the 50th over with the score on 156.

Nepal approached the target in a measured manner and progressed comfortably to 118 for 4 from 38 overs. But with victory in sight they collapsed to 139 for nine.

Kesari then came to the crease to produce the innings of his life. The number 11 not only preserved his wicket but also hit 13 from 12 balls including a crisp boundary in the final over to win the match.

Captain Shakti Gauchan provided the backbone of the Nepal innings, surviving at the crease for over three hours to reach 51 not out and steer Nepal to an historic victory.

Nepal coach Roy Dias, the former Sri Lankan great, was delighted with the victory.

"We are very pleased to have won the match, all of our players performed well," said Dias.

"We have come to this tournament with the attitude that we will treat every match like a final and that is what we did today."

Even victory in the final group game against England will not necessarily guarantee South Africa's progress to the Super League.

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