Kathmandu – Nepal National Cricket team has started their journey of ICC World Twenty20 Qualifiers 2015 with a defeat against the Middlesex CCC 2nd XI in their first practice match at Radlett Cricket Club on Thursday by 14 runs.
Andrew Balbirnie, the captain of Middlesex 2nd XI won the toss and elected to bat first on sunny day. The pitch was hard and Sompal Kami strike early for Nepal. Then a century partnership (109) between Balbirnie and Higgins (38) for the second wicket took the score to 126 in 16.2 overs. Balbirnie was run out by Mukhiya but he did the damage by scoring 72 off 45 balls with 9 boundaries and a six. A blistering inning off 23 off 11 balls by Eskinazi helped Middlesex to pile up 164 runs on the board in their 20 overs.
Jitendra Mukhiya was the only other wicket taker for Nepal as he managed two wickets in his 4 overs and gave away 34 runs. Karan KC (4-0-40-0) was quite expensive today. Similarly, Basant Regmi (4-0-25-0) was the most economical bowler while his counterpart Shakti Gauchan (4-0-34-0) also remain wicketless.
Nepal have had its opening problem since a long in all formats and it showed today as well. The opening partnership of Subash Khakurel and Sagar Pun didn’t last long as Ravi patel removed Pun (0) in the last ball of the first over. Gyanendra Malla came at No. 3 position as usual and the duo managed to put second wicket partnership of 69 runs. Malla batted with the strike rate of 136.67 scoring 41 off 30 balls with 5 boundaries before caught by R Higgins off Ravi Patel. Skipper Paras Khadka (0 off 1 ball) didn’t troubled the scorers.
Vesawkar joined Khakurel at the crease and they shared a partnership of 53 runs for fourth wicket. Nepal were pushed in the back foot with Vesawkar’s dismissal for 32 runs. He smashed five boundaries in his 23 balls inning. Pradeep Airee’s (0) runout put Nepal on pressure. At the stage, Nepal were 5-125 in 17.3 overs. Then Khakurel was dismissed by HW Podmore for well made 46 off 56 balls. He was slow today with the strike rate of 82.14 but the inning was crucial for Nepal’s chase.
Nepal needed 19 runs of last over but were restricted to 150/7 in 20.0 overs. Rajesh Pulami Magar remained unbeaten on 17(8) with 2 fours.
Ravi Patel (4-0-27-3) and HW Podmore (4-0-29-2) were the pick of the bowlers. Gurjit Sandhu took one wicket in his four overs.
Nepal will play against the same side on June 28 (Sunday) at the same venue (Radlett Cricket Club).