Sports

Records galore as Nepal level ODI series 

- Adarsha Dhakal, Dubai

Jan 27, 2019-

A record-breaking Nepal hammered the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by 145 runs for their biggest One-Day International (ODI) victory in terms of runs to bounce back in a three-match series on Saturday.

On a day when records kept tumbling, Nepal notched up their biggest ODI total scoring 242-9 in 50 overs with Rohit Kumar Paudel becoming the youngest male cricketer ever to score a half century in this format of the game.

Fast bowling spearhead Sompal Kami then became the first bowler with a fifer as Nepal bundled out the UAE for just 97 runs in 19.3 overs. The UAE became the victim of Nepal’s yet another record as they became Nepal’s opponent folded for the lowest total.

With the victory, Nepal have levelled the series at 1-1, making Monday’s game a virtual final. Skipper Paras Khadka was all praise of his boys for putting in a collective team effort.

“It obviously feels very good because every victory brings you a lot of joy. Overall, it was a fantastic game today. The openers really set it up because the first 10 overs were very crucial. They laid the foundation and everybody came in and chipped in with 20s and 30s. Rohit came in to play a beautiful knock. And the opening spell from Sompal killed the game when the opposition came to bat,” Khadka said after the match.

“The series is still wide open and we are looking forward to the final game. The guys are pushing themselves. The squad is very young and we have to be patient. Let’s hope we can carry this momentum,” added Khadka.

Nepal headed into the UAE with a big worry in the opening department. On a tough grassy pitch on Friday’s first ODI, Nepal were bundled out for just 113 runs with their new opening combination of Gyanendra Malla and Binod Bhandari failing to click. 

Both the openers fell cheaply with just 16 runs on the board.

Malla and Bhandari, however, came back strongly in the second match putting on 61 runs for the first wicket inside 16 overs. Nepal then lost five wickets in a space of 52 runs that began with the dismissal of Bhandari (21). Malla was next to go after making a 61-ball 44 with four hits to the fence. The UAE then forced Nepal on the backfoot, removing Khadka (21), Dipendra Singh Airee (10) and Pawan Sarraf (eight) to leave them at 113-5.

Paudel and Aarif Sheikh then bailed out Nepal from the trouble with a match-winning 82-run partnership for the sixth wicket. Incidentally, this is also Nepal’s highest partnership for any wicket in ODIs, surpassing the previous 61-run stand between Bhandari and Malla.

Imran Haider broke the partnership removing Aarif for a 49-ball 29 that included two boundaries. Rohit, who reached his half century off 55 balls, made a 58-ball 57 with seven hits to the fence before falling to Amir Hayat.  

Karan KC an 11-ball 18 with two sixes and a boundary to lift the team total. Hayat and Haider picked up two wickets each for the hosts.

Kami demolished the UAE top order in a burst of his opening spell, removing the top four batsmen in a space of 29 runs. Chundangapoyil Rizwan (16) and Muhammad Usman offered a brief resistance before one over from leg spinner Sandeep Lamichhane virtually put the UAE out of the contest.

Lamichhane removed Rizwan and followed it with the wickets of Fahad Nawa (duck) and Amir Hayat (naught) in a space of five balls to leave the UAE reeling at 57-7. He came back again to dismiss UAE topscorer Usman for a 39-ball 26 that included four boundaries and a six.

Kami sealed the victory with the wicket of Zahoor Khan to finish with the figures of 5-33 from 6.3 overs. Lamichhane took 4-25 from four overs. Kami remained modest despite getting into a milestone. “I am happy. But more than the five-wicket haul, it’s the team’s victory that is more satisfying. We didn’t feel good losing the first game and we were playing under tremendous pressure,” said Kami.

Summary

Nepal 242-9 in 50 overs (R Paudel 55, G Malla 44; A Hayat 3-41, I Haider 3-54) beat UAE 97-10 in 19.3 overs (M Usman 26, A Ahmed 20; S Kami 5-33, S Lamichhane 4-24) by 145 runs

Man-of-the-match: S Kami (Nepal)

Published: 27-01-2019 08:18

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