Records tumble as Nepal annihilate the United States of America in last League 2 matchThe hosts restricted the visitors to what was a joint-lowest total ever in the one-day internationals, before chasing down their victory target of 36 runs with 268 balls to spare.
Records tumbled on Wednesday after the spin duo of Sandeep Lamichhane and Sushan Bhari shared 10 wickets between themselves to help Nepal get the United States of America all out for a paltry 35 in 12 overs, the joint lowest score in the history of one-day internationals.
In the last match of the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup League 2 at the Tribhuvan University cricket grounds, Nepal then went on to win the match by eight wickets and 268 balls to spare.
Wednesday’s record low score of America equalled the total of Zimbabwe who were shot out at the same score by Sri Lanka, way back in 2004. However, the African nation had consumed six more overs than America.
With the dewdrops yet to dry on the Kirtipur ground, Nepal took advantage of the conditions and wrapped up the American innings even as several spectators were barely on their way to the venue. It didn't take the spirited hosts much time to complete an astounding victory and end the tournament on a high, successfully chasing their target of 36 runs in 5.2 overs, losing only two wickets.
When the American innings began, Lamichhane struck on the last ball of his first over to get rid of Ian Holland, promoted by captain Saurabh Netravalkar up the batting order for his prowess against spin. The allrounder who has previously tried his trade in domestic cricket in Australia and England was one of the three batsmen to be caught at slip by former captain Paras Khadka, while five of the remaining seven batsmen were out bowled and two got trapped leg before wicket.
Xavier Marshall (16) was the only batsman to score in double digits for America. He added 22 runs with Monank Patel for the second wicket. When the Jamaican, who previously had featured in seven Tests for the West Indies, met with a similar fate as of Holland off the bowling of Bhari in the seventh over, the US were reduced to 23-2.
The two Nepali teenage spinners then ripped through the American batting in record quick time, who lost their next eight wickets adding only 12 runs.
Lamichhane picked up six wickets giving away only 16 runs from his six overs. The sensational spell resulted in the best figures by a Nepali bowler in one-day internationals. Bhari bagged four wickets in his three overs, conceding only five runs.
Chasing only 36 runs for a win, Nepal, however, suffered early hiccups losing their openers, skipper Malla (1) and Subash Khakural (0) in the second over of their innings, bowled by Nosthush Kenjige.
But it wasn't to be another batting collapse of the day as Khadka and vice-captain Dipendra Singh Airee took charge and sent the American bowlers to the cleaners and notched up their quickest win in one-day internationals.
Khadka hit three fours and a six to remain unbeaten on 20 from 12 balls. Airee, who scored 15 off 11, hit a six and two fours.
Speaking at the post-match presentation ceremony, America’s captain Netravalkar acknowledged the Nepali bowlers' impeccable performance.
"Nepal had an ideal match as the two youngsters made the best use of the conditions to produce dream spells," he said. "This defeat and our performance throughout the series takes us back to the drawing board. We have on-field and off-field issues to address but it was mostly the inconsistency in our batting department."
The Americans lost all four of their matches in the tri-series despite boasting of senior players with experience, from around the world.
Nepal captain Gyanendra Malla valued the win more than the record. "The two points are more important than the feat. We wanted to end the series on a high with a win, and Sandeep and Sushan gave us a great start," he said.
"There is a lot of homework to be done as we have a lot of matches ahead of us. Our batsmen have to work on building their innings and finishing the matches," Malla added.
Meanwhile, the man of the match Lamichhane who returned with career-best figures in the game, said the win for his team was more important than his own individual achievement.
Following the win, Nepal are sixth in the overall CWC League 2 standings with four points from four matches while the USA are placed second, having 12 points from four games. Oman, who won all four of their matches on the Nepal tour, lead the table with 16 points.