2 February, Kathmandu. Opener Kushal Bhurtel’s century, strong support from skipper Rohit Kumar Paudel and Karan KC’s 5-for helped Nepal register a record 2-wicket win over Namibia.
In the first match of the tri-series of the ICC Cricket World Cup League Two, Namibia gave a target of 286 runs to the home team on Tuesday. With the help of Bhurtel’s 115 runs, Nepal won by losing 8 wickets in 47.4 overs.
This 287 runs made by Nepal in ODIs is the biggest score ever. Earlier in 2019, Nepal won by completing the target of 255 runs against the United Arab Emirates and in June, chasing the target of 275 runs against America, equalized the score.
Last year, Nepal were bundled out for 286 while chasing a target of 293 against Papua New Guinea at Trivi Cricket Ground, Kirtipur.
Nepal’s opener Asif Sheikh was dismissed in the second over without opening the account, but the other opener remained skilful till the end and laid the foundation for Nepal’s victory.
Bhurtel was dismissed when Nepal needed only 3 runs to win. He scored 115 runs in 113 balls and hit 10 fours and 4 sixes.
He shared a 50-run partnership with Gyanendra Malla for the second wicket. When Nepal’s score was 53, Gyanendra got out after scoring 25 runs. After that, Bhurtel and captain Rohit Kumar Paudal together started Nepal’s innings. The pair shared a record 133 runs for the third wicket.
This is the biggest partnership of Nepalese players in ODIs so far. Earlier, Dipendra Singh Airey and Dev Khanal shared a 129-run partnership against Papua New Guinea at Kirtipur last year.
But when Nepal’s score was 186, captain Rohit was dismissed in the 34th over. After this, Nepal lost two more wickets in a row. Rohit played 76 balls and scored 72 runs with the help of 7 fours and 3 sixes. He completed 1000 runs in ODIs for Nepal by scoring 55 against Namibia.
Then Kushal Malla was dismissed for 6 runs and Dipendra Singh Airey for 7 runs, Nepal’s score became 212-5. Namibia tried to claw their way back into the game after Ruben Trumpelmann dismissed Rohit, Kushal Malla and Deepender in a row.
But Bhurtel made an important partnership of 49 runs with Sandeep Jora, who played ODI for the first time after four years. Jora scored 28 runs in 24 balls with the help of 3 fours and 1 six.
Karan KC, who came to the crease after Zora’s dismissal, also hit six fours in the bat. But when Nepal was close to victory, Bhurtel was dismissed for a personal score of 115 runs. Sandeep Lamichhane duck out.
Sompal Kami, who came after this, hit a four and confirmed Nepal’s victory. Karan KC scored an unbeaten 20 off 12 balls with the help of 1 four and 2 sixes.
Ruben Trumpelman and Jan Nicol Lofty Eaton took 3-3 wickets for Namibia. Bernard Scholtz and Tangeni Lungameni took 1-1 wickets.
Karan’s 5 wickets
Earlier, Namibia, who won the toss and were asked to bat first at the Trivi Cricket Ground in Kirtipur, scored 285 for 10 wickets in 50 overs riding on Michael Van Leeuzen’s century.
His start was also not good. When both openers were dismissed in the 11th over, Namibia’s innings, which was 45–2, was managed by Van Ligen and captain Gerhard Erasmus. Both shared a 124-run partnership for the third wicket.
Van Ligen played 137 balls and scored 133 runs with the help of 9 fours and 5 sixes. Van Leugen’s third century in ODIs and second consecutive century against Nepal in League Two. Earlier in December, he scored 121 against Nepal in a League Two match in Namibia.
In the third over, Van Ligen, batting at number three, was caught by Nepal’s Karan KC at the hands of Dipendra Singh Ari in the 47th over. Similarly, Captain Erasmus scored 56 runs in 79 balls by hitting 2 fours and 3 sixes. Wicketkeeper John Green hit 4 fours and 1 six while scoring 34 runs off 19 balls.
Karl Birkenstock and Jane Franklin scored 13/13, John Nicol Lofty Eaton scored 8 runs and Lou Handre Lawrence scored 5 runs while Picci Ya France was dismissed for 2 runs.
Karan KC took 5 wickets for 1 maiden for 61 runs in 10 overs for Nepal.
Sandeep Lamichhane took 3 wickets. He was released on bail after being jailed for rape and returned to the field through this match amid controversies.
He bowled 10 overs and scored 66 runs. He took a wicket on his second ball. The remaining two wickets were taken on the first and last ball of the 49th over. Sompal Kami and Kushal Malla took one wicket each.
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