The United States of America defeated Nepal by six wickets in One Day International match of the ICC Cricket World Cup League-II match at the Al Amerat Cricket Ground in Muscat today.

Put into bat first, Nepal were bowled out for 174 runs in 48 overs and the USA reached 175-4 with 123 balls to spare to record their maiden ODI victory over Nepal which also ended their six-match losing streak. Nepal had defeated the USA by five wickets in their previous encounter of the tri-series on Monday. Nepal will now take on hosts Oman in their last match of the series on Sunday.

Chasing a modest target, USA lost two wickets at the score of 22, thanks to Sandeep Lamichhane, who struck twice in the same over.

Lamichhane trapped Sushant Modani (two) leg before the wicket in the first ball of the fifth over - his second - and bowled Karima Gore for a duck three balls later.

Opener Steven Taylor and Monank Patel then added 97 runs for the third wicket to turn the match towards the USA. Karan KC brought Nepal back into the match with two wickets in two balls to reduce the USA to 119-4. He had Taylor caught by Sompal Kami for 63-ball 92 that included 12 boundaries and three sixes, while KC dismissed Sanjay Krishnamurthi in the next ball, caught by Kushal Bhurtel, for a golden duck.

Jaskaran Malhotra survived the hat-trick ball and he combined with Monank Patel to take the team home without further loss. They added 56 runs for unbroken fifth-wicket partnership to register their first victory over Nepal in four ODIs. Patel remained unbeaten on 38 off 70 balls hitting a four, while Malhotra struck two boundaries and three sixes in his 32-ball 36.

Star legspinner Lamichhane finished with 2-34 from 8.3 overs, while KC claimed 2-23 in five overs. Gulsan Jha had a forgettable debut as he conceded 31 runs in his three overs, while Kushal Bhurtel was hit for 14 runs in his oneover spell.

Earlier, Nepal made a disastrous start losing opener Aasif Sheikh (three) with just five runs on the board in the third over. Opener Kushal Bhurtel and skipper Gyanendra Malla revived the innings with a 51- run partnership for the second wicket.

Bhurtel - who top scored with 84 in Nepal's five-wicket victory over the USA in their first match on September 13 - fell for 36 off 43 balls that included five boundaries and a six. Rohit Paudel, another Nepali batsman to score half century against the USA, departed cheaply this time around. Nepal came under pressure at 89-4 after Binod Bhandari was dismissed for 10 runs in the 24th over.

Malla and debutante Gulsan Jha added 51 runs for the fifth wicket before Nepal's innings collapsed with the side losing the last six wickets for just 34 runs. Malla and Jha departed in the same over and other batsmen failed to cope up with the situation. Only Karan KC (12) and Sandeep Lamichhane (11) contributed in double figures.

Malla top scored in the match with 55 off 105 balls hitting three boundaries for his third ODI half century. He became the second Nepali batsman to scored three half centuries in ODIs after Rohit Paudel, who achieved the feat in the match against Oman two days ago. Malla also became the highest scorer for Nepal in ODIs with 1,366 runs from 15 matches, surpassing former skipper Paras Khadka, who had scored 1,035 runs from 10 matches. Jha, who made his ODI and List A debut from the match, scored 53-ball 28 that included two fours and a six.

Karan KC struck two boundaries in his 11-ball 12, while Lamichhane scored 12-ball 11 with the help of a boundary.

Saurabh Netravalkar was the pick of the USA bowlers taking 4-29 from nine overs and he was ably supported by debutante Kyle Phillip (3-43). Karima Gore, Elmore Hutchinson and Nosthush Kenjige bagged one wicket each.

With the victory, the USA accumulated 14 points from 15 matches to remain at the second position in seven-team standing behind leaders Oman (20). Scotland are third on nine points, followed by Namibia (eight) and Unite Arab Emirates (seven).

Nepal are at the sixth place on six points from seven matches, whereas Papua New Guinea are pointless from eight games.

A version of this article appears in the print on September 18 2021, of The Himalayan Times.