Kathmandu boys stun Fiji in warm-up cricket

KATHMANDU: Region No-III (Kathmandu) defeated Fiji national cricket team by four wickets in a practice match here at the Tribhuvan University Stadium today.

Electing to bat first Fiji, who are here to compete in the Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division-V, made 186-9 in 50 overs. In reply, Kathmandu overcame the total for the loss of six wickets in 30.5 overs. Opener Subhash Khakurel, who is named as a reserve player for the Division-V beginning here from February 20, hit a brilliant 33-ball 68.

Man-of-the-match, Subhash laid the foundation for victory with the first wicket stand of 75 runs with Ayush Rana (13) in 7.3 overs. Subhash’s innings included 11 fours and two sixes. Suman Uday also made valuable contribution with an unbeaten 42. Sandeep Yadav (17) and Pramod Basnet (15) also chipped in to the total. Jikoi Kida took two successive wickets of Prabin Joshi (five) and Sudhir Maharjan (naught) in the 27th reducing Kathmandu to 169-6. But, Rupesh Srivastav (14) and Suman guided their team safely home. Geog Browne claimed two while Sakarai Lomani and Viliame Yabaki grabbed one wicket apiece for Fiji.

Earlier, Rupesh and Jeevan Bhattarai shared five wickets to leave Fiji tottering at 51-5 by the 19th over but Jikoi Kida and Jo Debea helped the visitors pose a competitive total. Kida and Debea put on 87-run for the sixth wicket. Kida made 51 off 81 balls while Debea scored31. Rupesh claimed three, Jeevan two and Pramod Basnet one wicket for Kathmandu.

Fiji coach eyes top two finish

KATHMANDU: The Fiji national cricket team coach Steve Jenkin on Sunday said he is targeting the top two finish in the Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division-V to be held here for February 20-27.

The two finalists after the round robin league will qualify for the Division-IV tournament slated for August in Italy. Jenkin, who is also the High Performance Manager of Cricket Fiji, said his team will have to bowl well as the wickets keep low here. “The weather here is suitable but the wickets keep low. So, we need to work hard in bowling,” said Jenkin. Jenkin said the Division-V would be tough for his side as they will get to play the teams who come under the top 29 cricketing nations of the world.

Fiji finished bottom of the Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division-IV, won by Afghanistan in 2008. The island country will start their ICC Division-V campaign against Jersey at the Tribhuvan University Stadium on February 21.