Nepal suffer defeat in first one-day international at homeWith an 18-run loss against Oman, hosts Nepal are off to a sour beginning to their ICC Cricket World Cup League 2 campaign.
Nepal suffered an 18-run defeat at the hands of Oman in their maiden One Day International match at the Tribhuvan University Cricket ground in Kirtipur on Wednesday.
The match, which was also the side’s first in the ongoing ICC World Cricket League 2, saw the hosts’ batting line-up collapse to a clinical bowling attack spearheaded by the Omani captain. The 198-run target daunted the Nepali batsmen as skipper Zeeshan Maqsood claimed three scalps, and Bilal Khan and Kaleemullah grabbed two each.
The home side’s skipper Gyanendra Malla (1) and former captain Paras Khadka (3), two batsmen the team was counting on, were dismissed with only four runs on the board.
Sarad Vesawkar and Dipendra Singh Airee (36) steadied the innings for Nepal as they added 62 runs after the departure of Malla and Khadka. The partnership ended after Airee was trapped leg before by Mohammad Nadeem. Nepal then lost two quick wickets, both to the Omani captain Maqsood. While Aarif Sheikh (6) was caught and bowled, Rohit Paudel was caught by Khawas Ali.
A 43-run sixth-wicket stand between Vesawkar and Binod Bhandari (26) also could not stop Nepal from marching towards defeat. Bhandari was caught by Sandeep Goud off Ali in the 34th over. When all-rounder Karan KC was dismissed for a duck, Nepal were reeling at 124-7.
Vesawkar then found an unlikely partner in Nepal's spin sensation Sandeep Lamichhane. The pair added 38 runs, providing a glimmer of hope for thousands of Nepali spectators present at the ground. But, Aqib Ilyas clean bowled Vesawkar, who contributed 55 runs facing 108 balls in his patient knock.
Lamichhane had the crowd cheering with his slogs, but he could not see his side home as he was caught by Ali off Maqsood. The leg spinner scored 28 runs in his innings, which included three fours and a six. Sushan Bhari was the last wicket to fall for the home side as they were restricted to 179 in 46.5 overs.
Earlier, despite losing early wickets, Oman ended their 50 overs with 197-9 on the board. After being reduced to 57-5 in the 19th over, Mohammad Nadeem and Sandeep Goud added 60 runs to rescue their team’s innings. Goud, who started slow, scored a composed 33 from 72 before being stumped by Binod Bhandari off debutant Sushan Bhari in the 39th over with Oman still struggling at 117-6.
The tourists then lost Badal Singh (5) three overs later. But Nadeem partnered with Naseem Khushi to resist the Nepali attack. Khushi clubbed two sixes and hit two fours in his quickfire 28 off just 18 balls before being caught by Vesawkar off Karan KC in the 48th over. Bilal Khan (8*) carried the bat alongside Nadeem, who smashed two sixes and five fours in his brisk 69 off 96 balls. Oman ended their 50 overs at 197-9.
KC was the pick of the Nepali bowlers as he picked four wickets from his nine overs giving away 47 runs. Debutant Bhari also had a great day at the office as he picked up three wickets conceding only 14 runs from 10 overs while Airee had one scalp to his name.
Nepali captain Gyanendra Malla attributed the defeat to a batting collapse. “We had a good start with the ball, but we conceded a lot of runs towards the end, the haemorrhage could have been contained,” he said adding, “In the second innings, we [Paras and Malla] failed to give a good start. After the partnership between Airee and Vesawkar, we lost wickets in quick succession, and that is where we lost the match.”
Oman captain Maqsood was elated at the win, "It was a great game. We did not have an ideal start with the bat, but the significant partnership between Nadeem and Goud lifted us as we ended up with a good total on this surface."
Oman play the US in their second match of the triangular series on Thursday.