Nepal slump to all time low


Nepal slumped to their all time low score in their eight-wicket loss at the hands of co-hosts Ireland in the Group A match of the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifiers in Stormont, Belfast today.

Put into bat first after Ireland skipper William Porterfield won the toss, Nepal were bowled out for their lowest total of 53 runs in 14.3 overs in the T20 International match. The score was also the second lowest in the history of T20I behind the Netherlands’ 39 all out against Sri Lanka in the World Twenty20 match in Chittagong, Bangladesh last year. In reply, Ireland raced to 54-2 in eight overs.

Nepal made a mediocre start after being put into bat first, with openers Sagar Pun and Anil Mandal going through nicely. Pun clobbered a four in the first ball of the innings and he struck two boundaries in the next over. Mandal (two) was the first Nepali batsman to return to the pavilion in the last ball of the third over, while Pun was dismissed in the fourth ball of sixth over, caught by Stuart Thompson at covers off the bowling of John Mooney. Pun top scored for the team with 20 off 18 balls including three boundaries.

Pradeep Airee (naught) was trapped leg before by Mooney in the first ball he faced as Nepal came under pressure at 28-3 in 5.4 overs. Skipper Paras Khadka (10) and his deputy Gyanendra Malla (two) also faltered to leave Nepal tottering at 38-5. Nepali batsmen could not survive Ireland’s attack as they lost last seven wickets for just 15 runs. Kevin O'brien (3-8) and Stuart Thompson (3-10) shared six wickets between them, while Mooney grabbed two wickets and Craig Young and Alex Cusack took a wicket apiece.

The Ireland’s run chase was briefly halted by the rain and when they came out Nepal paceman Sompal Kami struck with the third ball of the second over removing Niall O’Brien with four runs on the board. But Paul Stirling and William Porterfield took the team close to victory adding 49 runs for the second wicket before Kami took his second wicket dismissing the former for 29 off 21 balls that included four boundaries and a six. Porterfield remained unbeaten on 18 off 20 balls as Kevin O’Brien struck the winning run. Kami returned with the figures of 2-28.

In other Group A matches, Namibia defeated the United States of America by seven wickets in Stormont, Belfast, while the game between Hong Kong and Papua New Guinea was abandoned without a ball being bowled in Bready, Londonderry. The Group B match between Afghanistan and Kenya in New Williamfield, Stirling was also washed out.

With the win Ireland maintained the lead at the top of the table with six points, while Nepal dropped down to fourth with three points, behind PNG and Namibia on inferior run rate. Jersey have two points, while Hong Kong have one and USA are yet to open their accounts. In Group B, Afghanistan lead the table with seven points from four matches, followed by Kenya (five) and the Netherlands (four).