Nepal’s Super 6 hopes in danger

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Mar 9, 2018-Nepal lost their second consecutive match of the ICC World Cup Qualifiers going down to Scotland by four wickets at the Queen’s Sports Club in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, on Thursday as a spot in the Super six appears to be slipping out of their hands. 

Needing victory to remain on course for the Super Six that would at least guaranteed them one-day international status for the next four years, Nepal’s disastrous batting saw them restricted to 149 in 47.4 overs despite Paras Khadka making a gritty half century.

Skipper and opening batsman Kyle Coetzer replied with a marathon half century carrying the bat through the innings as Scotland reached 153-6 in 41.3 overs. While Scotland raced into the Super Six following their third consecutive victory, Nepal are left with a Herculean task after Hong Kong stunned Afghanistan in the other Group ‘B’ match of the day. 

Zimbabwe are second in the table with two consecutive wins and Hong Kong are third after they shocked the latest Test entrants to throw them out of contention for Super Six. Nepal now must win their remaining matches against Afghanistan and Hong Kong to enter the Super Six apart from praying for Zimbabwe’s victory over the latter. 

Nepal were lauded for their valiant batting effort after putting 264 runs in the board in chase of 381 runs against hosts Zimbabwe. But they were left out of sorts after a burst of opening spell from right arm seamer Stuart Whittingham saw them reduced to 14-4 in 4.2 overs. 

After Sufyan Sharif bowled Gyanendra Malla (one) in the second over, Whittingham struck with wickets of Dilip Nath (4), Dipendra Singh Airee (1) and Sharad Vesawkar (0). Khadka did the bulk of scoring in his 25-run partnership with Aarif Sheikh (2), who fell to Richie Berrington.

Khadka continued to play with aggression from the other end while forging a 42-run partnership for the sixth wicket with Sompal Kami (18). All Nepal’s hopes to put a challenging total evaporated after Tom Sole had Khadka caught by George Munsey as Nepal were reduced to 100-7 in 28.1 overs. The late resistance from Basanta Regmi, Rohit Kumar Paudel (15) and Sandeep Lamichhane (six) took Nepal close to 150-run mark. 

Regmi, who shared 26 runs for the ninth wicket with Lamichhane, was the second best scorer for Nepal with an unbeaten 24 from 51 deliveries. Apart from Whittingham, Alasdair Evans also took two wickets for Scotland. 

The Scot’s had a cautious reply as Coetzer opened with a 33-run partnership with his opening partner Matthew Cross (14) before Lamichhane gave Nepal the breakthrough. Although Nepali spinners managed to put Scotland batsmen in check, Coetzer kept Nepali attack at bay and helped the team cross the finish line. 

Coetzer remained unbeaten on 88 from 136 balls with seven boundaries and three sixes. Regmi was the most successful bowler for Nepal returning the miserly figures of 2-26 from 10 overs, while Lamichhane also took 2-31 from his 10-over spell. Lalit Narayan Rajbanshi and Dipendra Singh Airee also took a wicket each. Nepal next play the Afghans on Saturday.

Summary

Scotland 153-6 in 41.3 overs (K Coetzer 88 not out, C Wallace 17; B Regmi 2-26, S Lamichhane 2-31) beat Nepal 149 all out in 47.4 overs (P Khadka 63, B Regmi 24 not out; S Whittingham 3-35, A Evans 2-24) by four wickets

Published: 09-03-2018 09:32

User's Feedback

Click here for your comments

Comment via Facebook

Don't have facebook account? Use this form to comment