After coming to within four runs of beating England in a nail-biter the day
before, Ireland were unable to repeat that performance yesterday, losing by
60 runs in a much less glamorous fixture of the Under 19 World Cup against
supposed minnows Nepal. The Irish are now consigned to the bottom of Group D
and take their place in the plate competition with a game against either
Pakistan or New Zealand next Tuesday.

It is a disappointing end to a tour that promised so much and almost
delivered on that promise. Had they found those four runs from somewhere on
Wednesday to register what would have been a historic victory over England,
then surely they would have put in a more determined and polished effort
against the Nepalese yesterday.

There was something very flat about the overall display. The bowlers lacked
the sort of precision and penetration that they had the day before and the
fielding was, at times, terrible with catches being dropped and most
outfielders unable to attack the ball effectively.

Although Nepal have some good batters at the top of their order,
particularly Kanishka Chaugai, once Ireland had got into them, they should
have strangled them out for at least 50 runs less than they eventually
conceded. Nepal managed to get to 234 for 8 off 50 overs with only Gary Kidd
(2-32 off ten overs) and Niall McDarby (3-43) bowling anything like they

When it came to Ireland's turn with the bat, Eoin Morgan finally showed why
he is touted as the next big thing in Irish cricket having had a quiet
tournament by his standards. But those batting around him could not emulate
his success in hitting the gaps and all too often Morgan was left at the
non-striker's end while his batting partner scratched away, unable to get
the tight Nepal bowling away.

And it was tight bowling. The Nepal team bowled and fielded to a
well-thought out and well-executed game plan. They starved Morgan of the
strike while putting pressure on the other end. Eventually, having made 86
well-crafted runs, Morgan felt boundaries were needed and danced down the
track in an effort to loft Shashi Kesari over his end, only to miss the ball
and be stumped well out of his ground.

It signalled the end of Ireland's challenge in the match. Fintan McAllister
(14) and Andrew Poynter (28) also contributed but with nothing like the
class of their captain and this side does not seem to have the depth in
batting required to chase good totals when wickets are falling.

"Nepal batted with a bit of purpose. We failed to do that," said Morgan
afterwards. "They bowled to a defensive field, tied us down and we were
unable to cope with that. I was impressed with them. They did their
disciplines well. They impressed me as a unit. They wanted it more than we
did today," he said.

"We spoke last night and tried to eliminate the disappointment of the
England game from our minds but we're only human. We were quite down this
morning," he admitted.