Sports

Khadka shines in Nepal win

- Post Report, Kathmandu
Nepal skipper Paras Khadka (right) leads his team to the field during their ICC World Cricket League Division 2 match against the United Arab Emirates at the United Cricket Club Ground in Windhoek, Namibia on Sunday. Photo courtesy: raman shiwakoti icc world cricket league division 2

Feb 12, 2018-Skipper Paras Khadka led from the front to help Nepal beat the United  Arab Emirates (UAE) by four wickets in third match of the ICC World  Cricket League Division 2 at the United Cricket Club Ground in Windhoek, Namibia on Sunday. 

In a rain-reduced 34-over a-side match, Khadka revived faltering Nepali fortune by an entertaining half century knock to set up a successful run chase. Set 115 to win, Nepal achieved the target for the loss of six wicket in 28.5 overs. 

The victory also kept Nepal in the hunt for the top two spot that guarantees tickets to next month’s ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifiers in Zimbabwe. Nepal climbed to second in the standings with four points from three matches. Canada are on top with six. 

Batting once again turned out to be Nepal’s Achilles heel before Khadka led the rescue effort. Despite chasing the lowly total, Nepal were tottering at 46-4 by the 13th over after losing key players Gyanendra  Malla (5), Dilip Nath (2), Dipendra Singh Airee (4) and Sharad Vesawkar (3) cheaply.

But despite losing wickets in quick succession at the other end Khadka, batting at No 2, trusted his attacking instinct to clobber five sixes and two fours in his 48-ball 51.

When he finally fell to Amir Hayat in the 18th over, Nepal were already in a comfortable zone at 76-5. It was then left for Aarif Sheikh (16), Rohit  Kumar Paudel (12 not out) and Sompal Kami (10) knock of the remaining  runs.

Earlier, the UAE struggled against both pace and spin to post a below-par total. Kami was pick of the Nepali bowlers with 4-30 and star leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane returned with 3-30. Skipper Khadka also took 2-20.

Nepal’s bowling spearhead Kami made it difficult for the UAE batsmen to score runs after sending Ashfaq Ahmed (0) in the first over with just one run on the board. Kami struck again in the seventh over to dismiss Ghulam Shabber (16) as the UAE were reduced to 25-2.

The UAE had yet to add a run to their total when KC removed captain and opening batsman Roshan Mustafa  (7).

However, battling stalwart Shaiman Anwar soaked up an early pressure from Nepali bowlers to add 29 runs for the fourth wicket with Rameez Shahzad.  

Khadka introduced Lamichhane, who recently became the first Nepali  cricketer to be auctioned in the lucrative Indian Premier League by Delhi  Daredevils, and he made an immediate impact taking two wickets in  successive ball.

Lamichhane had Shahzad caught by Airee in the second ball  of the 18th over before having new man Muhammad Usman (0) caught by  wicketkeeper Dilip Nath the very next ball.

Anwar stayed put to score 30 runs but lost his cool to be bowled by Lamichhane in the 22nd over. Nepal skipper Khadka also gave a good  support with the ball taking out Adnan Mufti (18) and Mohammad Boota (15). Kami returned to polish off the tail by taking the wickets of  Mohammad Naveed (10) and Ahmed Raza (8).

Nepal had opened their campaign with a battling one-wicket win over hosts Namibia before losing to Oman, the team promoted to Division 2 after winning the Division 3, in their next match. Nepal take on Kenya on Monday.

Summary

Nepal 115-6 in 28.5 overs (P Khadka 51, A Sheikh 16; M Naveed 2-17, A Hayat 2-26) beat UAE 114 in 31 overs (S Anwar 30, A Mufti 18; S Kami 4-30 S Lamichhane 3-30, P Khadka 2-20) by four wickets 

Man-of-the-match: P Khadka (NEP)

Published: 12-02-2018 09:03

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