Nepal have secured One Day International (ODI) status for the first time with a six-wicket win over Papua New Guinea (PNG) in the seventh place playoff semi-final match of the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifiers at Old Hararians ground in Harare, Zimbabwe on Thursday. Dipendra Singh Airee guided his side to a comfortable victory over PNG .
Thanks to the Netherlands whose defeat of Hong Kong in another play-off match was instrumental in Nepal’s graduation to ODI status for the next four years (2018-2022). After defeating PNG, Nepal were waiting for the result of another play-off match between the Netherlands and Hong Kong. Nepal automatically gained the ODI status after the Netherlands beat Hong Kong by 44 runs.
Nepal will now play for the seventh place final of the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifiers against Netherlands on Saturday.
Earlier in the match between Nepal and PNG, Airee took four wickets from 4.4 overs and also clobbered a half-century to chase 115 runs target in the victory in the 23rd over. It was Nepal’s only victory against PNG in 50-over format after losing the previous two games.
Airee and Sandip Lamichhane, who also had four wickets, ripped apart PNG’s batting lineup to bowl them out for 114 runs in the 28th over. Sompal Kami and Karan KC also took a wicket each.
Nepal, PNG, Hong Kong and Netherlands had failed to qualify for the Super Six round. Since, Netherlands have already become an ODI nation and PNG out of contention following today’s defeat, Nepal and Hong Kong were in contention for gaining the ODI status.