Nepal dodged the Monsoon showers at the National Stadium in Karachi, to cruise to a comfortable 30-run win over Malaysia and qualify for the Youth World Cup to be hosted by Bangladesh in January-February 2004.
The final was reduced to 25 overs and play continued even when there was some drizzle.
Malaysia won the toss and asked Nepal to bat first, who found the going easy and reached 155 for 5 in the 25 overs available. Yashwant Subedi (36, 3x4), Sharad Veswakar (55, 2x4, 1x6) and their captain Shakti Prasad (27) were the main contributors. Malaysia's Maxwell Stephen picked up 3 for 25.
Malaysia lost early wickets but recovered well from 12 for 3, although Yashwant Subedi (36, 3x4) and Sharad Veswakar (55, 2x4, 1x6) were unable improve the scoring rate against Nepal's accurate bowling. Manjeet Shreshta was simply too good and grabbed four for 17. Malaysia only reached 125 for 6 in the allotted overs.
A total of 23 matches were scheduled in the tournament and the teams were equally divided into two groups with the league matches played on single league basis. However, some matches could not be completed due to rain. The event was organised by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) at the request of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) as it was shifted from Singapore because of SARS concerns.
The chief guest for the final was the Governor of Sindh and other dignatories included Lt Gen Tauqir Zia the PCB chairman and the ACC's chief executive Syed Ashraful Huq.
The Governor in his address said "It is a matter of great privilege and honour for Pakistan in general and for the province of Sindh in particular to host the ten-nation Youth Asia Cup." He went on to thank all the organisers adding, "I am told that the tournament has been well organised despite scorching heat and unprecedented rains."
He had a few words to say about the lack of international cricket in Pakistan. "I sincerely pray that International Cricket Council takes a cue from the Youth Asia Cup and forces the senior teams to come and play in Pakistan. Let me assure everyone that we provide VIP security to the teams."
He congratulated Nepal on winning the Cup and qualifying for the Under-19 World Cup in Bangladesh to be held early next year.
The Man of the Match was Sharad Veswakar of Nepal.
The tournament awards went to:
Player of the Tournament: Adnan Ilyas of Oman (239 runs and 10 wickets)
Best Batsman: Kanishka Chaughai of Nepal (196 runs)
Best Bowler: Waqas Jamil of Kuwait (10 wickets)
Best Wicketkeeper: Manoj Katuwal of Nepal (6 dismissals)
Best Fielder: Mohammad Shukri of Malaysia (4 catches).
Please click for full details of the tournament.