Kathmandu – Nepal Cricket team earned an emphatic five wickets win over Namibia in the third round of ICC World Cricket League Championship 2015-2017 at the Tribhuvan University Ground, Kirtipur on Saturday, April 16.
In front of a sold-out crowd, Namibia won the toss and elected to bat.
The pitch was prepared under ICC inspection. It looked green and was good toss to win for Namibia for once spinner came to bowl, it slowed down.
Selection of Playing XI for Nepal
Team management trusted the 15 years old Leggie Sandeep Lamichhane and U19 Captain and wicketkeeper Raju Rijal. Naresh Budhayair got a chance to play his first WCLC match for Nepal. Skipper Paras Khadka, Gyanendra Malla, Basant Regmi, Shakti Gauchan, Sharad Vesawkar, Sompal Kami, Binod Bhandari and Rajesh Pulami Magar were the playing XI. Sagar Pun missed out due to injury.
Sompal Kami started the bowling and was hammered for 15 runs in the first over. The over concluded with three boundaries. Opener Stephan Baard and Zane Green reached 25 in just 2.1 overs before Kami trapped Baard for 18(8) that includes 4 fours. Kami bowled the other opener at the end of 7th over. In the first powerplay, Namibia were picking up the boundaries most of the time. Paras Khadka came in to bowl his medium pace but he was also hammered in his first spell.
Sandeep Lamichhane, the leg spinner came in action as soon as the first power-play ended. He continued to bowl same line and length where he was bowling during ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2016 in Bangladesh. It was delighted to watch his leg spin bowling and was unplayable most of the time. He gave the third break through for Nepal in his second ball of fourth over, dismissing Pikky Ya France for 26 runs.
Offspinner Basant Regmi didn’t look in good rhythm prior in his spell and was crushed for sixes. Synman, in general, smacked him for three sixes, yet returned emphatically to trap him for 23 runs. Paras Khadka was missing the off-spin deliveries of Sagar Pun today and forced himself to fill the hole and was honored with a wicket of JP Kotze. Kotze was caught by Lamichhane for 2 off 7 balls.
The sixth wicket for Namibia succumbed for 109 runs as Gerhad Erasmus was stumped by Raju Rijal off Regmi for 25(38). The seventh wicket partnership between Nicolass Scholtz and Sarel Burger held the inning for Namibia, however, was very slow indeed. The duo played for 17.5 overs and did the containing job for the team scoring 35 runs which change the course of the match for Nepal.
Finally, a mis-understanding in running between the wicket created a chance for Nepal and Naresh Budhayair didn’t disappoint the 12,000+ crowd. Scholtz was runout for 18(52). Basant Regmi got rid of Burger for his third scalp in 49th over for 38 (77).
Cricket is always a funny game not scripted though. Sompal Kami was smashed for 15 runs in his first over and was smashed for the same number of runs in the end of the inning to take Namibia to a respectable 195/5 in their 50 overs. JJ Smit found his middle of bat to smash Kami for 12 runs that included a free hit before he was runout for 26 (22).
Who took wickets
Basant Regmi (3-40) was the pick of the bowler as he took three wickets. Sompal Kami clinched two whilst Paras Khadka and Sandeep Lamichhane shared wicket apiece.
Wicket Keeping ?
Raju Rijal playing his debut match for senior team, that too in the home and in front of thousand audience was very nervous. He missed couple of catches but created two stumping and two runouts. A mixed day at the office for Rizal.
The new set of openers for Nepal appeared at the crease to chase a tricky target set by Namibia. Gyanendra Malla and Naresh Budhayair started cautiously as the first boundary came at eight over of the inning. The pair completed the first power-play without any hiccups but Malla couldn’t control his sweep shot and brought the downfall in 11.2 overs for 21 (40b 1×4 0x6). Budhayair also followed him next over for 16(30).
It was a surprise move by Nepal to bring Sharad Vesawkar at Number 3. He, then, steadied the ship with Paras Khadka for a 36 runs partnership for the third wicket. Khadka looked in good nick and smashed two boundaries and a six before being dismissed for 21 (32). Raju Rijal had a poor day and there was no luck with him. He just stayed for 11 balls for his 6 runs.
Rajesh Pulami Magar came in to support Vesawkar but couldn’t survive the ball from Snyman and was trapped in-front for 9(22). At the stage, Nepal were 5-113 in 32.4 overs and were in spot of bother.
Match winning Partnership
Binod Bhandari came at the crease and didn’t wait for long to break his shackles. He crushed three big sixes at mid-wicket. Vesawkar, at the other end was playing the patience knock.
Nepal managed to bring their 150 runs at 39th overs. The partnership didn’t panic and kept on finding boundaries and single every now and then. The unbeaten 84 run-stand took the game away from Namibia and Sharad Vesawkar had to find a boundary to close the inning with a half century off 99 balls. Binod Bhandari scored a crucial knock 40 (49).
Who took wickets ?
Sarel Burger (9-1-22-2) and Gerrie Synman (10-3-26-2) were impressive with their line and length today. They both produced an economical spell and shared two wickets each.
Nepal defeated Namibia by 5 wickets and registered their first victory in ICC World Cricket League Championship 2015-2017. The two points earned from this match took the team to 6th in the table.
They will play Namibia on Monday at the same venue. The match starts at 9:30 am onwards.
आज नामिबिया विरुध्द प्रदर्शन गरेको शानदार खेल, विजयका लागि नेपाली क्रिकेट टिम र प्रोत्साहित गर्ने दर्शकलाई हार्दिक बधाईं ।
— PM K.P. Sharma Oli (@PM_Nepal) April 16, 2016
— ICC (@ICC) April 16, 2016
Photo Credit: Pahilopost.com