International

Nepal set one foot in Division two

Kathmandu- Nepal is just a day away from promotion to Division-two after 10 run (D/L method) win over USA today in the league match of ICC World Cricket League Division three played at Kinrara Oval, Kuala Lumpur.

Chasing a steep target of 224, Nepal had made 73/1 in 22 overs before heavy rain halted the play. No more play was possible after the match and Nepal were declared winners.  With the third win from 4 matches  Nepal has climbed to top of the points table  owing to better net run rate than Uganda. Nepal will face Malaysia in the final group match tomorrow.

USA 223/9 (Babar 59; Gauchan 3/30) in 50 overs  Nepal 73/1 (Khakurel 49* ) in 22 overs.

With NRR of +2.103 the final match against Malaysia is a mere formality before Nepal is promoted to Division 2. Malaysia will have to pull off a huge upset to prevent there promotion.

Nepal’s chase did not start well as opener Naresh Budhayair in the first over for a duck. Gyanendra Malla and Subash Khakurel then added unbeaten 72 runs. Khakurel who made 49 runs from 82 balls was declared the player of the match. Khakurel had added 9 runs in the last over of the match with two fours to ensure Nepal’s score is over the par score.

Earlier, winning the toss and batting first United States of America had set a steep target of 224  runs in their 50 over in the ongoing WCL Division 3 match. After yesterday’s fixture between these two teams was washed out and the match had been rescheduled for today.

224 would have been a uphill task for Nepali batsman. Nepal has never chased a 200 plus target in 6 years of World Cricket League. Their biggest chase is 193 runs against Argentina in 2010. Opener Steven Taylor and Fahad Babar added 64 runs for the first wicket. The duo brought up the 50 in mere 10 overs for USA. Off Spinner Sagar Pun gave Nepal the first break dismissing Taylor for 36. Taylor was caught brilliantly behind the wickets by Khakurel a ball after Pun was hit for a six.  Taylor scored 4 fours and a six in his 41 ball innings.

Pun then got the second break for Nepal thanks to motivational captaincy from Khadka.  Brought into bowl in the 11th over Pun had going for 7 runs an over but some tight over’s from the other end from Basanta Regmi meant Khakda could continue attacking with Pun who had gotten in form Massiah the other day. Pun stood tall on the expectations got Massiah(16) once more.

Fahad Babar anchored the USA side as wickets fell at the other ends.  India born Santhanam was the next to go run out by Aarif Sheikh. Babar went on to score a steady half century but fell to Ghauchan for 59 right before the batting power plays. Gauchan broke two more times getting Adil Bhatti(15) and Ganesh(2). Gauchan ended with figures of 10-0-30-3

Timil Patel played a steady hand in the end adding 39 runs off 50 balls to take USA close to 200. Muhammad Ghous(27 runs off 18 balls) fot 2 sixes of Sompal Kami in the last over to take USA to 223/9.

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