Nepal put one foot in top three spot
- ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier Asia: Eastern Region
Oct 10, 2018-
Nepal virtually sealed a spot in the top three spot of the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier Asia (Eastern Region) with yet another convincing victory, this time drubbing Bhutan by 117 runs in their fourth match in Bangi, Malaysia on Tuesday.
Put in to bat first, Nepal rode on an unbeaten half century from Pradeep Airee to make 150-4 in 20 overs. Spinners Lalit Narayan Rajbanshi and Sandeep Lamichhane did the damage up front sharing six wickets between them as Bhutan were 33 all out in 16.4 overs.
Nepal now sit at the top spot on net run rate after they were tied on points with Singapore and a victory over pit-bottom China will seal them a spot in the Asia Region Qualifier. The top three teams from this tournament will play the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Kuwait in the Asia Region Qualifier from where the top two teams go into the Global Qualifiers.
The schedule for the Asia Region Qualifier and Global Qualifiers are yet to be announced. Top six teams from the Global Qualifiers will qualify for the 2020 ICC World Twenty20 to be held in Australia.
At the UKM Oval on Tuesday, Rajbanshi and Lamichhane wreaked havoc with the new ball sending Bhutan’s top six batsmen inside seven overs with the opponents yet to cross double digits. Rajbanshi (3-4) and Lamichhane (3-6) conceded just 10 runs in their collective eights overs that produced four maiden.
Bhutan were heading towards their lowest total in the tournament at 16-9 after veteran left arm spinner Basanta Regmi took two and Dipendra Singh Airee had one scalp. But Tenzing Wangchuk Junior and last man Ramesh Limbu (four not out) shared 17 runs to save blushes. Wangchuk made 11 off 19 with two boundaries.
Earlier, Nepal lost opener Binod Bhandari (duck) with six runs on the board before Pradeep and Anil Kumar Sah shared 66 runs for the second wicket. Sah made 27 off 21 with two fours and a six. Pradeep then went on to share another 33 runs with Aarif Sheikh (13). Dipendra made 10-ball 15, while Karan KC was unbeaten on 11 off five.
Pradeep, whose three-year comeback in the national team turned sour after going for a duck in Nepal’s first match against Myanmar, hit six boundaries and two sixes in his 68-ball 75. It was Pradeep’s first half century in five years having previously made 65 against Denmark during the 2012 ICC World Twenty20 Qualifiers at the UAE. This is also his highest Twenty20 score for the senior side.
Nepal 150-4 in 20 overs (P Airee 75 not out, AK Sah 27; T Jamtsho 1-10, J Singye 1-31) beat Bhutan 33 all out in 16.4 overs (T Wangchuk Jr 11, S Gurung 6; LN Rajbanshi 3-4, S Lamichhane 3-6, B Regmi 2-7) by 117 runs
Man-of-the-match: P Airee (NEP)
Published: 10-10-2018 08:25