Nepal’s hopes of World Cup Qualification suffered another big blow as Nepal lost went down by 90 runs against Scotland. Nepal had lost its previous match to UAE by 102 runs. Two big defeats in first two matches mean that Nepal is in bottom of Group A table.
Batting in the seaming NZ track against was the problem once again. Chasing a modest 250 Nepal were bundled up for just 159 runs in 46.1 overs as the Scottish seamers ran through out batting line up
With Mahesh Chhetri dropped and Subash unfit to play Sagar and Anil opened the batting for Nepal. Sagar was out first ball-caught by the wicket keeper Cross off Rob Taylor. Gyanendra Malla then joined Mandal in the middle and the duo added 21 runs for the second wicket.
With Mandal out quickly, Shakti Gauchan who made stylish 34 against UAE came in at number 3 in an attempt to fill Paras’ void. But Shakti departed without adding a single run to his name.
Vesawkar then joined Malla in the middle and the duo played some delightful shots to give Nepal hopes of winning. But once the power plays were over boundaries dried out and some nifty field placement from Scotland, and Malla and Vesawkar were not even able to rotate to strike. Over 12 to 17 produced only 10 runs. With required rate climbing Malla who was captaining the side today in an attempt to up the scoring rate held out to Preston Mommsen at mid wicket. Malla top scored for Nepal with 34 runs.
Nepal were then 60/4.
Prithu Baskota and Vesawkar added 36 runs for the fifth wicket. Baskota was run out for 21. Bhandari who had looked the most comfortable in recent matches came the duo took the score past 100. Bhandari gave an easy catch to Majid Haq of his own bowling and Nepal were 114/6. Set Vesawkar was out 3 runs later for 30 off 64 balls.
Pradeep AIree(15) and Basanta Regmi(20*) took Nepal’s score past 150. Jitendra Mukhiya was the last wicket to fall for Nepal out to Iain Wardlaw. Wardlaw ended the match with 3 wickets. Rob Taylor got two and Safyaan Sharif picked up 2. Majid Haq, the highest (49th) ranked spinner in the tournament also bagged 2 scalps.
Earlier bowling first Nepal had made a terrific comeback after solid start from Scottish top order.
Openers Kyle Coetzer and Calum McLeod added 48 runs for the first wicket. Kyle who made 14 runs was the first to go. MacLeod and Matt Machan then continued the good work adding 38 at rate of nearly 5 runs an over. Basanta then got rid of MacLeod for 46.
Nepali spin duo-Basanta and Sagar bowled tight line in the middle overs. Scotland reached 150 runs only in 36th over. In attempt to score quick Scotland lost 4 wickets-Mommsen(35), Rob Taylor(1), Richard Berrington(7) and Matthew Cross(9) between overs 36 to 44.1 overs adding just 34 runs. Scotland were 7 down for 190 in 44.1 overs. Safyaan Sharif and Freddie Coleman added 59 for the 8th wicket-49 of those runs came in last 21 balls.. Safyaan made 25 off 17 balls with 3 boundaries. Coleman top scored for Scotland with 64 runs. His innings included 4 fours and 1 six.
Young seamer Somapal Kami who was expensive against UAE impressed with the ball today picking up three wickets. Until his final(8th) over he had figures of 7-0-21-3. His final over fetched 14 runs. Sagar Pun bagged two wickets giving away just 38 runs from his 10 overs. Basanta Regmi and Shakti Gauchan picked one wicket each.
Nepal has two more group matches-against Hong Kong and Canada. Wins in both can still help Nepal get to the super six stage.