Batting falters as Nepal go down to Oman

Kathmandu, February 9

Nepal faced a six-wicket defeat at the hands of Oman in their second match of the ICC World Cricket League Division-II at the Affies Park in Windhoek, Namibia today.

Put into bat first, Nepal were bowled out for 138 runs in 46 overs before Oman scored 139-4 in 35.1 overs.

Nepal, who had defeated hosts Namibia by one wicket on Thursday, had a disastrous start with the bat as opener Gyanendra Malla (seven) was caught behind by Sultan Ahmed off Kaleemullah with just 10 runs on the board in the fifth over.

Another opener Dilip Nath, who managed 19 off 49 balls hitting three boundaries, and skipper Paras Khadka, who added 17 off 42 balls hitting a boundary, tried to consolidate the innings with a 32-run partnership before the former was caught by Odedra off Fiaz Bhutt in the 15th over.

After Nepal lost two quick wickets — Aarif Sheikh (six) and skipper Khadka — they came under immense pressure when they were reduced to 56-4 inside 23 overs.

Sharad Vesawkar, who scored 22 off 39 balls hitting two boundaries, and Dipendra Singh Airee, who hit three fours in his 32-ball 22, shared a crucial partnership of 36 runs for the fifth wicket before the latter was caught by Wategaonkar off Khawar Ali in the 31st over.

Basant Regmi, who had played a match-winning knock of run-a-ball 24 to guide Nepal one-wicket victory over Namibia on Thursday, was trapped leg before the wicket by Odedra in the 32nd over, while Bilal Khan removed Vesawkar in the 38th over.

Rohit Kumar Paudel (14) and Sompal Kami (not out 17) reached double figures later on but that was not enough for Nepal to post a fighting total.

Oman’s Kaleemullah, who was named the man-of-the-match, returned with the figures of 4-28 and Bilal Khan took 2-13. Fiaz Bhutt, Khawar Ali and Jayesh Odedra took one wicket each.

In reply, Sompal Kami provided Nepal an early breakthrough trapping Swapnil Khadye (one) leg before the wicket in the third over with only two runs on the board.

However, Jatinder Singh, who scored 24 off 40 balls hitting three fours, added 35 runs with Aqib Ilyas for the second wicket to anchor the innings.

Sandeep Lamichhane separated the pair bowling Singh in the 11th over. Ilyas, who top scored with 46 off 53 balls hitting five boundaries, was bowled by Basant Regmi in 23rd over but not before he had added 46 runs for the third wicket with Vaibhav Wategaonkar.

Although, Lamichhane bowled Khawar Ali (11) to reduce Oman to 97-4 in the 27th over, Wategaonkar, who remained unbeaten on 37 off 71 balls hitting a six, and skipper Sultan Ahmed (not out 16) took the team home without further loss adding 42 runs for the unbroken fifth wicket.

Lamichhane claimed 2-29, while Sompal Kami and Basant Regmi took one wicket each. Nepal will play their third match against the United Arab Emirates on Sunday.