KATHMANDU: Nepal debuted at the ICC World Cup Qualifiers Tournament with a 116 run defeat at the hands of Zimbabwe, on Sunday. Hosts Zimbabwe won the toss and chose to bat at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo, before putting up a total of 380-6 in their allotted 50 overs. In reply, Nepal managed to score only 264 runs losing eight wickets in 50 overs. Middle order batsmen Brendan Taylor and Sikandar Raza smashed centuries for Zimbabwe in the match where Nepali bowlers displayed a poor performance. Taylor crafted century off 92 deliveries that included one six and seven fours while top scorer Raza smashed 123 runs off 66 balls. Earlier, Cephas Zhuwao and Solomon Mire gave a strong start to the innings, making 41 and 52 runs respectively. Likewise, Craig Ervine contributed 50-ball 34 where as Hamilton Masakadza scored 17 runs facing 23 deliveries. Sompal Kami and Basant Regmi shared two wickets each for Nepal while Lalit Rajbanshi and Sandeep Lamichhane claimed one each. Nepal, who had to chase a huge target, made poor start to the innings with their opening duo Gyanendra Malla and Dilip Nath failing to create a steady partnership. The two made nine runs partnership for the first wicket. Nath was bowled out for two runs while Vice-captain Malla contributed 32 runs facing 59 deliveries. Captain Paras Khadka who came in to bat third attempted to lay a strong base, smashing 40 runs facing 37 deliveries while Dipendra Singh Airee contributed 23 runs. Two middle-order batsmen including Sharad Vesawkar and Aarif Sheikh managed to hit half-centuries but that was not enough to save Nepal from facing defeat. Vesawkar scored 52 runs off 48 balls including one six and six fours whereas Sheikh's 59-ball 50 included five boundaries. Likewise, Rohit Kumar Poudel was other notable contributor for Nepal with 30 runs off 32 deliveries. Sompal Kami and Sandeep Lamichhane were unbeaten with 12 and seven runs respectively. Man-of-the-match Sikandar Raza was pick of the Zimbabwean bowling as he claimed three wickets. Raza was supported by Brian Vitori who bagged two wickets. Likewise, Tendai Chatara, Kyle Jarvis and Graeme Cremer added one wicket each for the winning side. Nepal will now take on Scotland in their second match in the Group B on Thursday.
Nepal suffer 116-run defeat to Zimbabwe in World Cup Qualifiers
Prabin Bikram Katwal
Published: 09:44 pm Mar 04, 2018