Bowlers shine on Day I

Kathmandu, March 27:

Skipper Binod Das, Paras Khadka and Basanta Regmi took three wickets each as CAN XI bowled themselves into a strong position after the first day of the three-day match against Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) here today.

Skipper Das’ decision to bowl first after he won the toss at the Tribhuvan University Stadium paid off as the home team bowled the visitors for 131 runs in 65.1 overs. At stumps on the first day, were 73-2 with Gyanendra Malla (30) and Shakti Gauchan (18) sharing an unbeaten 49-run partnership for the third wicket.

Playing with just two seamers because of the unavailability of players, strike bowlers Das and Khadka along with left-arm spinner Regmi tore the MCC innings apart sharing nine wickets among them.

It was Das who made the first breakthrough when he had Ian Fletcher (one) caught by Dipendra Chaudhary with just five runs on the board in the third over. Paras struck twice to reduce the visitors to 21-3. He had Neil Jones caught behind by Mahesh Baisya for a 10-ball duck and then bowled opener Matt Walker for 16.

Keith Newell and Keith Parsons were on course of rebuilding their innings with a 54-run partnership for the fourth wicket before Das trapped Parsons leg before and Regmi earned similar decision against MCC skipper Min Patel. Parsons top scored for the visitors with 35 off 91 balls that included two fours and two sixes, while Patel struck two fours and as many sixes in his 61-ball 29.

MCC then lost wickets on regular intervals before being all out for 131 runs. Newell scored 28 off 102 balls before being the last man out at the hands of Das, who finished with 3-25 off 17.1 overs. Paras took 3-20 off 16 overs, while Regmi claimed 3-20 off 10 overs. Gyanendra Malla pocketed 1-11 off four overs.

The home team had a shaky start losing openers Paresh Lohani and Dipendra Chaudhary — both caught by Neil Jones off Glen Read — in the space of nine runs. Chaudhary, who scored an unbeaten century in the last one-day match on Wednesday, departed scoring eight runs, while Lohani struck three fours in his 25-ball 14.

Gauchan and Malla then took the hosts towards safety with an unbeaten stand of 49 runs. Malla has so far struck five fours in his 45-ball 30, while Gauchan’s 42-ball 18 included three boundaries.