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Wisden Cricinfo staff
February 18, 2004
Nepal U19s 157 for 9 (Gauchan 51*) beat South Africa 156 (Manjeet 4-15) by one wicket
On the fourth day, the Under-19 World Cup really came alive. As if Australia's collapse against Zimbabwe wasn't enough of a surprise, along came the lowly Nepalese, who held their nerve in a thrilling finish to beat the highly fancied South Africans by one wicket with two balls of the match remaining.
Nepal had showed glimmers of their potential in their opening fixture against England, where they lost by eight wickets despite setting a competitive total of 192. But forewarned was not forearmed for South Africa, who batted first and were restricted to 156 in their 50 overs. And even that total owed everything to a late rally from their No. 9 Keegan Africa, who clubbed 52 not out from 62 balls after South Africa had slipped to 62 for 7.
Nepal shared their wickets around, although the pick of the bowlers was Manjeet, who tore through the top of the innings with three early wickets, as South Africa crashed to 11 for 4. He later added Godfrey Stevens for 29, to complete the highly impressive figures of 10-4-15-4. He was ably backed up by Paras Khadka, Shakti Gauchan and Lakpa Lama, with two wickets each.
Nepal began their reply with a wobble as Kaniska Chaugai fell for a fourth-ball duck, but after 30 overs they were in a strong position on 95 for 4, with Gauchan going strong on 29 not out, and several capable batsmen to come. But although the run-rate was never an issue, wickets kept slipping away, until 32 were needed from the last nine overs with two men still standing. Crucially, one of these was Gauchan, and he steered his side to victory with a cool unbeaten 51.
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