Nepal’s impressive run continues
Kuala Lumpur, July 26:
Sharad Vesawkar and Gyanendra Malla scored unbeaten half century each as Nepal defeated Qatar in the ACC Trophy Elite Cup here at the Royal Military College today.
The win is Nepal’s second in as many matches which put them in a strong position to enter the semi-finals.
Nepal bowled Qatar out for 171 runs in 47.2 overs, with Shakti Gauchan and Basanta Regmi taking three wickets each. Nepal then overcame the target losing three wickets in 37.3 overs.
Nepal skipper Binod Das made the first breakthrough in the 15th over when Paresh Lohani caught Mohamad Jehangir (13) at the slips after the Qatari openers had put on 46 runs on the board. Faisal Noor (7) departed soon when he became Das’ second victim in the 17th over. Opener Omer Taj missed half century by two runs. Taj hit five fours and two sixes in his 77-ball knock.
Rusharat Ali fought a lonely battle but did not get help from other batsmen. Ali remained unbeaten on 40 off 54 balls that included two sixes. Shakti Gauchan, who was later named the man of the match, was the pick of the Nepali bowlers with 3-25 and was ably supported by Regmi (3-30) and Das (2-24). Sharad Vesawkar and Amrit Bhattarai took one wicket each.
In reply, Nepal had a disastrous start when opener Paresh Lohani hit a four and got out in the fifth ball of the innings. Kanishka Chaugain and Sharad Vesawkar added 32 runs for the second wicket before Chaugain lost his ground in the 10th over. Chaugain hit two fours in his 33-ball 20.
Nepal came under pressure after vice captain Paras Khadka (3) was dismissed at the team score of 46, but Vesawkar and Gyanendra Malla stood firm at the crease and batted till the end to score a comprehensive victory. The duo shared an unbroken stand of 126 runs.
Vesawkar played comparatively slow hitting just three fours in his 51 off 104 balls, while Malla scored 76 off 82 balls that included five fours and two sixes. Abbas Khan took two and Usman Malik claimed one wicket for Qatar.
Happy with the win, Nepal’s coach Roy Luke Dias said all the players needed to deliver. “Like Sharad, Basanta, Gyanendra and Shakti, other players also need to perform well,” he said. Team manager Pawan Agrawal praised the players’ patience. “The boys not only performed well but also did not lose concentration even under the pressure situation,” said the former national team captain Agrawal.