Nepal secure comprehensive 7-wicket victory over Kenya
KATHMANDU: Nepal's stand-in skipper Gyanendra Malla and rookie batsman Dipendra Airee shared a century stand for the third wicket to propel the team towards a seven-wicket victory over Kenya with 118 balls to spare during the ICC World Cricket League Championship played at the Tribhuvan University Stadium on Monday.
Sharad Vesawkar, who toook four crucial wickets of Kenya to restrict the tourists to 156, provided a late quick blitz of 24 runs off just 11 balls to secure the victory. He hit a winning six to put an end to the Kenyan struggle with 118 balls remaining.
The Malla-Airee duo shared a partnership of 111 runs off 140 balls with a strike rate of 4.69.
Nepal's flamboyant batsman Malla top-scored with 64 runs whereas Airee contributed 62 runs to the team.
Malla, who captained the team in absence of Paras Khadka, guided the team to the victory by batting throughout the innings for eight boundaries and a maximum.
With today's win, Nepal have accumulated two more points to make it eight from 10 games. Nepal are still one position behind Kenya in the point table.
Today's win was a must for Nepal to stay put in the fight for the ODI Team Rankings in the 10-team ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2018.
According to the ICC, the two sides from the qualifier will complete the 10-team line-up for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 which will be staged from 30 May - 15 July 2019.
Nepal are set to play against Hong Kong and the UAE in upcoming fixtures.
Nepal's chase had begun in a disastrous fashion as they lost opening batsman Sunil Dhamala, followed by Sagar Pun in a quick succession in the pursuit of 156 runs.
Airee, who was playing his second international, scored 62 valuable runs off just 66 balls and shared the 111-run partnership with Malla. He played some crunching drives and punches off back foot all over the park. Airee cutting off the back foot bisecting two players over the gully and point region was a delight to watch.
He also smashed eight hits to the boundary and a maximum over the deep mid wicket region. He was out in the 28th over.
Vesawkar then scored a quick-fire 24 runs off 11 balls and finished the game in style by hitting a long six over the long-off region.
Kenyan bowlers had toiled hard after picking up two quick wickets to break the century partnership for the third wicket.
Elijah Otieno was the pick of the Kenyan bowler with 6-0-29-2. Collins Obuya also chipped in with a wicket.
Nepal will play away with Hong Kong and UAE in their upcoming matches of the ICC Cricket World League Championship.
Post-match, Nepal skipper Malla shared his happiness in securing the triumph, praising his rookie partner Airee.
The first innings
Earlier, Nepal had won the toss and invited the touring team to take the first strike.
Nepal's opening bowlers Sompal Kami and Mahaboob Alam did not disappoint as they exploited the home condition to perfection.
Alam served a peach of delivery to Dhiren Gondaria and sent his off stump for a walk to rattle the Kenyan top order.
Kenya's opening batsman Irfan Karim and Collins Obuya had shared a third-wicket partnership of 79 runs and steadied the innings. Collins Obuya top-scored with 48 runs with seven hits to the fence. Karim also contributed 38 runs off 77 deliveries with threes hit to the boundary.
Nepal's parttime bowler Sharad Vesawkar took four wickets with his right arm off-break. He was the pick of the Nepali bowler with 7.1-0-28-4.
Malla rotated his bowlers frequently as Kenyan batsmen failed to adjust to the bowling change and lost wickets at regular intervals.
Basanta Regmi and Alam chipped in with two wickets each, spinners Sagar Pun and Sandeep Lamichhane took a wicket each.
Gyanendra Malla *
Sunil Dhamala c CO Obuya b E Otieno
Sagar Pun lbw E Otieno
Dipendra Singh Airee c DM Gondaria b CO Obuya
Sarad Vesawkar *
Extras (w 1, b 1, lb 2)
Total (3 wickets, 30.2 overs)
Fall of wickets
4-1 (Sunil Dhamala, 1.2 ov), 14-2 (Sagar Pun, 3.4 ov), 125-3 (Dipendra Singh Airee, 27.2 ov)
Nepal vs Kenya: Nepal start chasing 156-run target
KATHMANDU: Nepal national cricket team have started chasing the 156-run target during the second innings of their second match in the ICC World Cricket League Championship at the Tribhuvan University Stadium on Monday.
For Nepal, Sunil Dhamala and Gyanendra Malla had entered the field as opening batsmen.
Nepal had opened their the account on the very first ball with a single.
Dhamala, however, could not sustain as Nelson Odhiambo took his wicket in the second over. Sagar Pun did not last long in the middle as his lost the wicket to Elijah Otieno at 3.4 overs. Dhamala made one run and Pun made five.
With Gyanendra Malla's striking 4, Nepal had successfully completed 50 runs at the end of nine overs.
Malla is also maintaining a strong partnership with Dipendra Singh Airee and has completed 50 runs from 9.5 overs.
In the 20th over, Airee hit the first smashing six over the cow corner of the spin bowling to the rapture of Nepali crowd, elevating the score to 100.
Nepal's stand-in skipper and Airee have reached the milestone of unbeaten fifty each and steering Nepal closer to the victory. Airee has scored a fifty only in his second international outing. Malla and Airee have shared an unbroken century partnership for the third wicket. Airee perishes after scoring 62 runs caught at cover while trying to finish the game in hurry.
Nepal are in a tight spot today as they need to win this match in order to get a spot in the top four of the table.
Earlier, Nepali team captained by Malla had won the toss and elected to field first.