Scotland defeat Nepal in thriller

Kathmandu, July 29

Nepal began the ICC World Cricket League Championship campaign on a losing note with a three-run defeat against Scotland in a thrilling encounter at the Cambusdoon New grounds in Ayr on Wednesday.

Invited to take first strike, the hosts scored 235-7 in the rain-hit 36-over-a-side match before Nepal made 232-5. The hosts, who overcame a precarious situation of 101-5 before posting a fighting total, struck in 11th over when Mahesh Chhetri was dismissed for 21 off 39 balls runs. It became 76-2 in 18th over when Con de Lange sent vice captain Gyanendra Malla (18) to the pavilion.

Skipper Paras Khadka and Anil Mandal shared a record 139-run partnership for the third wicket. The stand is the highest for Any wicket in Nepal's List A matches. Khadka scored a quick fire 77 off 57 balls that included five fours and two sixes. Nepal required 17 runs to win from the last over but they fell four runs short. Mandal was out in the first ball of the last over, three runs short of his century. Mandal scored 97 off 90 balls with eight fours and a six.

Sompal Kami gave hopes with a six in the third ball before he and Pradeep Airee added just two runs in the next two balks. Kami struck a boundary in the last ball but that was not enough for the team. He remained unbeaten on 11 off just three balls, while Airee was not out on four off three balls. Gavin Main claimed two wickets while Safyaan Shrif and de Lang grabbed a wicket apiece.

Earlier, Scotland made a decent start with openers George Munsey and Kyle Coetzer adding 42 runs in seven overs before Karan KC removed the former for 19 runs. Coetzer then added 25 runs with Matthew Cross for the second wicket.

After skipper Paras Khadka trapped Cross (20) leg before wicket in 12.2 overs to reduce the hosts to 67-2, Nepal were able to build on pressure as they were successful in sending half the Scotland batsmen to pavilion with just 105 runs on the board.

But Mommsen and Con de Lange not only revived their innings but also took the team towards big total adding 113 runs in 12.1 overs for the sixth wicket. Sompal Kami bowled Mommsen for 78 off 62 that included five fours and four sixes, while Khadka removed Michael Leask (nine). De Lange remained unbeaten for 55 off 41 that included four boundaries and two sixes. Basant Regmi and Khadka claimed two wickets each, while Kami and KC grabbed a wicket apiece. Nepal will play their second match at the same venue on Friday.