Sports

Nepal clinch last-ball thriller

  • Defeat Kenya by three wickets in fourth match
  • Leg spinner Sandeep Lamichhane takes 5-20
  • ICC world cricket league division 2
- Post Report, Kathmandu

Feb 13, 2018-

Leg spinner Sandeep Lamichhane took the best bowling figures for Nepal in List ‘A’ game as Nepal defeated Kenya by three wickets in the last ball thriller of the ICC World Cricket League Division 2 match in Windhoek, Namibia, on Monday.

The Indian Premier League-bound Lamichhane demolished Kenya’s top and middle order to return with a magical figures of 5-20 from 10 overs. His spell included  five maiden overs that helped Nepal restrict Kenya to 177-8 in 50 overs. A match-winning 87-run partnership for the sixth wicket between young duo Aarif Sheikh and Rohit Kumar Paudel then saw Nepal chase down the target with one ball remaining.

Nepal stay in the second position of the standings on net run-rate after tying on six points with Canada, who lost their first match of the tournament going down to hosts Namibia by 17 runs in another match on Monday. Nepal now play Canada in the last league game on Wednesday where a victory can send them into next month’s ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifiers in Zimbabwe. 

At the Wanderers Cricket Ground, Nepal needed nine runs to win from the last 12 balls with left-arm spinner Shem Ngoche bowling the penultimate over. Although the equation looked initially easy for Nepal, they lost Sheikh in that over as Ngoche conceded just three runs to send the game to the final over.

Needing six from the last over, Paudel scampered for a couple in the first ball and handed the strike to new man Sompal Kami (five not out). After another single, Paudel got back the strike to add another run before running himself out the very next ball. Kami failed to score in the fifth ball but successfully scampered for a double they needed in the final ball.

Nepal had a horrible start when they lost openers Gyanendra Malla (nine) and debutant Anil Kumar Sah (duck) along with Dipendra Singh Airee to be reduced to 14-3 inside six overs. Skipper Paras Khadka then played some aggressive cricket in his 52-run fourth wicket stand with Sharad Vesawkar (19) to bring Nepal back in the game.

However, both batsmen lost their wickets in a space of 13 runs as Nepal were reeling at 82-5 in 24 overs. Khadka struck three fours and two sixes in his 44-ball 42. Shiekh and Paudel then rebuilt the innings with their watchful innings to ensure Nepal their third win in the tournament. Paudel top scored with an 86-ball 41 hitting a boundary and Sheikh’s 82-ball 42 included two boundaries. Emmanuel Bundi took three wickets for Kenya.

Earlier, Kenya made a decent start after Alex Obanda and Irfan Karim added 65 runs for the first wicket. Lamichhane came in to bowl the 17th over and not only applied brakes on the Kenyan run flow but also struck regularly to bring Nepal back in commanding position.

Obanda made a gritty 41 off 46 balls with five boundaries before he was bowled by Lamichhane. He returned in the next over to remove Dhiren Gondaria (four) as Kenya lost the ease in scoring they initially had. After Basanta Regmi had another opener Irfan Karim stumped by Gyanendra Malla, Lamichhane broke the backbone of Kenya batting with prized scalps of skipper Rakep Patel (one) and Rushab Patel (duck) in successive deliveries.

Nehemiah Odhiambo (24 not out) and Ngoche (23 not out) pushed the total close to 180 with a 39-run stand for the ninth wicket. Karim top scored for the Kenyans with a 100-ball 42. Collins Obuya (27) was their next best scorer. 

Summary

Nepal 178-7 in 50 overs (R Paudel 47, A Sheikh 42, P Khadka 42; E Bundi 3-19, N Odhiambo 1-35) beat Kenya 177-8 in 50 overs (I Karim 42, A Obanda 41; S Lamichhane 5-20, S Vesawkar 1-23) by seven wickets

Man-of-the-match: S Lamichhane

Published: 13-02-2018 10:31

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