Basanta Regmi held firm in the closing stages as Nepal pulled off a sensational victory in their opening match of the ICC World Cricket League Division 2 edging the hosts by one wicket in a last over thriller at the Affies Park in Windhoek on Thursday.
Needing 16 runs to win from the last two overs with just one wicket left, Regmi hit Namibia skipper and fast bowler Sarel Burger for a six in the 49th over that fetched Nepal nine runs. With seven to win from the last six balls, Regmi scampered for a double in the first ball of the last over and hit Jan Frylinck for a boundary to tie the score. A wide in the third delivery settled the nerves for Nepal.
Nepali bowlers had seized the initiative squeezing Namibia to 138 all out in 34.2 overs. Leg-spinning sensation Sandeep Lamichhane had picked up four and Sompal Kami had three scalps for Nepal.
Nepal’s innings was jolted by an early dismissal of opener Dilip Nath in the second over as the team was yet to open the account. Skipper Paras Khadka promoted himself up the order and together with opener Gyanendra Malla shared 32 runs for the second wicket. But once Craig Williams bowled Khadka, Nepal went through a terrible collapse as they lost five wickets in a space of 25 runs.
Khadka made 19 from 35 balls with two boundaries. In a sluggish display of innings, Malla hit just one boundary in his 45-ball 15. Aarif Sheikh (duck), Dipendra Singh Airee (six) and Karan KC (three) all fell cheaply as Namibia gained upper hand in the game reducing Nepal to 56-6 in 24 overs.
Sharad Vesawkar and Rohit Kumar Paudel, who made debut with the national team, kept Nepal in the game with a 37-run seventh wicket partnership. But Nepal were shell-shocked after Tangeni Lungameni removed Vesawkar. He scored 29 from 67 deliveries with three fours. Paudel lost his wicket in the 42nd over when Nepal needed 35 runs from the remaining eight overs. He scored 17 from 60 balls with two hits to the fence.
Nepal were lucky when, despite a more than half-an-hour rain delay at 111-8 in 43 overs, the match restarted without any over being reduced. Though they lost Sompal Kami in the 48th over, Regmi scripted a memorable day for Nepal. Regmi scored a run-a-ball 24 with two fours and a six.
Earlier, Sompal Kami had given Nepal a bright start after he removed openers Louis van der Westhuizen (one) and Stephan Baard (18) with just 23 runs on the board. Williams stepped in and made most of the scoring before he was trapped before leg before to Lamichhane. Williams top scored with a fluent 34-ball 41 and hit eight boundaries in the process.
From 75-2, Namibia lost their next four wickets for just six runs with Lamichhane taking two while Khadka and Regmi getting one scalp apiece. Jan Frylinck and Zane Green pushed Namibia beyond triple figures. Frylinck and Green made 22 runs each with both batsmen hitting three boundaries apiece.
JJ Smit chipped in 18 runs and was the last man dismissed caught by Khadka of Lamichhane. Lamichhane returned with a career best figures in List A with 4-18 from 8.2 overs. Kami took 3-35 off seven overs. Nepal will take on Oman in their second match on Friday. Oman lost to Canada by eight wickets in another match of the day.
United Arab Emirates, meanwhile, posed themselves as the serious contenders for the title after sweeping aside Kenya by 218 runs.
Batting first, UAE posted a mammoth 309-8 in 50 overs before bundling Kenya for just 91 runs.
Nepal 139-9 in 49.2 overs (S Vesawkar 29, B Regmi 24*; B Scholtz 4-11, C Williams 3-32) beat Namibia 138 in 34.2 overs (C Williams 41, Z Green 22; S Lamichhane 4-18, S Kami 3-35, B Regmi 1-26) by one wicketPublished: 2018-02-09 08:50:37