Mehboob Alam shines again

Kathmandu, May 26:

Record-breaking allrounder Mehboob Alam struck a half century and took two wickets to steer Nepal to a convincing 108-run victory over Norway in the ICC World Cricket League Division-V at the Farmers Field in Jersey today.

Batting first after losing the toss, Nepal were all out for 204 with two balls to spare in their allotted 50 overs but defended the total dismissing Norway for just 96 runs in 46.2 overs.

Nepal had a poor start losing opener Paresh Lohani (4) in the third over at 9-1. Sharad Vesawkar (5) departed soon adding just nine runs on the board and the dismissal of Shakti Gauchan (15) in the 13th over meant Nepal were reeling at 49-3. Mahesh Chhetri (15) was next to go and when Zeeshan Ali dismissed Gyanendra Malla (13) in the 19th over, Nepal were struggling at 73-5.

But Alam, who singled-handedly bowled out Mozambique on Sunday, rescued Nepal from further damage putting on two good partnerships with Paras Khadka and skipper Binod Das to pose a competitive total.

Alam put on 40-run stand each for the sixth wicket with Paras and eighth wicket with Das. Alam was the eighth man out at 168 after scoring 51 off 73 balls.

Paras chipped in with 32 and Das made 32.

Zeeshan Ali (3-45) and Mazid Zia Butt (3-23) took three wickets each while Aamir Waheed (2-42) and Ahmed Bhatti (2-50) claimed two wickets apiece for Norway.

In reply, Norway never looked like chasing the target. Norway found extremely difficult to score against the disciplined Nepali bowling attack. They failed to keep their momentum going and were eventually bowled out for 96. Ahmed Bhatti and Abdul Hadi each scored 15 runs while Zeeshan Siddiqui chipped in with 14 runs for Norway.

Alam took 2-10 off eight overs. Dhirendra Chand (2-21), Paras Khadka (2-14) and Basanta Regmi (2-12) also bagged two each while Sanjam Regmi took one. It was Nepal’s third consecutive win in the tournament.