Dominating Nepal claim title

  • ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier Asia: Eastern Region
- Post Report, Kathmandu

Oct 13, 2018-

Nepal claimed the title of the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier Asia (Eastern Region) after their victorious march against Singapore in the final league game got washed out due to rain in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Friday.

Having already booked their place in the Asia Region Qualifier after confirming the top three spot, the match gave both the teams an opportunity to claim supremacy in the tournament. Nepal put their foot in front after yet another four-wicket haul from Sandeep Lamichhane bundled out Singapore for 81 runs in 17.3 overs.

Nepal were 1-1 in reply losing opener Anil Kumar Sah (duck) in the second ball and one delivery later persistent downpour at the Bayuemas Oval washed out the remainder of the play. Nepal finished at the top of the table with 10 points, getting the better of Singapore on net run rate.

Nepal skipper Paras Khadka said his boys came up with a clinical performance throughout the campaign. None of the teams, barring Malaysia, managed to reach triple figures against Nepal in the tournament with only the hosts making exactly 100 in an eight-wicket thumping. “Everyone gave a clinical performance. People were expecting us to do well and the boys did decent work,” Khadka told the Post from Kuala Lumpur.

Nepal, along with Singapore and Malaysia, will now head into the second round of qualification - Asia Region Qualifier - for the ICC World Twenty20 Global Qualifiers with only two spots up for grabs. “The second round is not going to be easy. There are only two places at offer, so everyone will come hard. We will have to prepare well,” added the skipper.

“We had our first stage cleared convincingly. Now the wait is going to be the next round. The challenge is going to be higher there,” Khadka said. The United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Kuwait will be the other three teams vying for the Global Qualifiers’ top two spot in the Asian Region Qualifier. The date and venue for the Asia Qualifier is yet to be announced. A total of six teams will enter 2020 ICC World Twenty20 in Australia from the Global Qualifier.

In the match on Friday, Sompal Kami bowled for the first time and he gave Nepal a desired start picking up two early wickets. Lamichhane stepped in and got rid of experienced Singapore skipper Chetan Suryawanshi (nine). Opener Suresh Chandramohan tried to keep Singapore in the game with a 28-run fourth wicket stand with Manpreet Singh (10) before he was bowled by left arm spinner Basanta Regmi.

Lamichhane continued to impress and had Singh stumped by wicketkeeper Binod Bhandari and a wicket from Lalit Narayan Rajbanshi reduced Singapore to 66-6 in 13.1 overs. Karan KC then picked up two wickets in two balls and Lamichhane struck in consecutive deliveries as Nepal sniffed towards another comprehensive victory. Had there been no rain, Nepal would have rounded off an excellent campaign ever.

Lamichhane, meanwhile, became the highest wicket taker for Nepal in a single tournament surpassing veteran Regmi and his former U-19 coach Binod Das. Lamichhane finished the tournament with 24 wickets - three more than Regmi and Das.

Regmi had taken 21 wickets in the 2012 ICC World Cricket League Division IV to emulate Das, the fast bowler had achieved the feat during the 2005 3-Day ACC Fast Track Tournament. Lamichhane was the run away highest wicket taker in Malaysia with teammate Rajbanshi and Singapore’s Manpreet Singh taking 11 scalp apiece.



Published: 13-10-2018 08:51

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