Nepal starts off the ICC World Cricket League Divison-2 with a feeble one-wicket win over the host Namibia at Windhoek.
Namibian bowlers so nearly rescued their batsmen. Bernard Scholtz’s slow orthodox and Craig Williams’ medium pace bowling nearly sealed the deal for the host team as the couple shared 7 wickets between them. Nepal were grateful for several misfielding’s that included dropped catch of Rohit Paudel twice.
Basant Regmi played a critical role, notching 24 runs off 24 balls, when all looked burdened to Nepal in frontage of Namibia’s bowling attack. When all seemed lost for the Nepali team, Regmi played a crunch shot that sailed pass the long-off boundary for a six in the penultimate over, which completely swinged the match towards the. The very over yielded 9 runs, with Nepal still needing 7 off the ultimate over. Regmi smashed one more boundary to level the score in the second ball of the ultimate over, and it was all over when Frylinck bowled a wide delivery.
Nepal lost Dilip Nath early for a golden duck in the second over with no runs added to the plank. With runs not coming easily, Skipper Paras Khadka and Gyanendra Malla added 31 for the second wicket, prior to Paras being bowled by Williams in the 13th over. Nepal faced another shock when Aarif Sheikh was dismissed by Scholtz in the very next over. Subsequently, the string of falling wickets began in quick succession with Nepal asphyxiated at 6 for 56 in 24 over’s. Debutant Rohit paudel 17 from 60 balls, despite being a very slow innings was very crucial along with Vesawkar’s 29 off 67 deliveries. They put on 37 runs for the 7th wicket.
Nepal owed much, to Sompal Kami (7-1-35-3), who sliced the top off the Namibia innings with the new ball, and also to Sandeep Lamichhane (8.2-2-18-4), who dismissed the firing Williams playing on 41 from 34 balls with 8 fours. Lamichhane also cleared the tail-enders which was very important to not concede more in a pitch where batting was awfully difficult. Lamichhane was also declared the man of the match for his 4 wicket haul at an economy of 2.16.
During the tense finish, the final two over of the match played vital role in deciding the outcome of the match. Failing to hold the nerve was the key as Namibia were in all sort of control in the match, ultimately losing to Nepal by a mere margin of 1 wicket. Nepal will now take on Oman at Affies Park, Windhoek tomorrow in their second match of the 8 days tournament.