Lamichhane spins Nepal to thumping win over Papua New Guinea in second ODIThe 21-year old leg spinner grabs six wickets and Rohit Paudel scores 86 runs as Nepal thrash PNG by 151 runs.
Leg spinner Sandeep Lamichhane shone with the ball claiming six wickets as Nepal registered a thumping 151-run win over Papua New Guinea (PNG) in their second One-Day International match to seal the two-match ODI series 2-0 at the Al Amerat Cricket Ground in Oman.
Electing to bat first, Nepal posted a moderate total of 233 runs in 49.3 overs after 86 runs from Rohit Paudel. Later, Lamichhane came up with the best bowling figure of 6-11 by a Nepali bowler in ODI cricket as Nepal bowled out PNG for 82 runs in 19.1 overs.
Lamichhane surpassed his own previous best bowling figure of claiming six wickets giving away 16 runs set against USA in 2020 at the TU Cricket grounds during the ICC World Cup League 2. Apart from Lamichhane, Sompal Kami, BIkram Sob and Susan Bhari bagged one wicket each.
In the first ODI played at the same venue, Nepal had struggled for a two-wicket win over PNG. Both Lamichhane and Paudel had played influential roles in Nepal’s win in the first game as well. While Lamichhane grabbed four wickets on Tuesday, middle-order Paudel had scored highest 41 runs in their chase of a 135-run target.
Similar to the first ODI, Nepal made a shaky start to their innings losing openers Kushal Bhurtel and Aasif Sheikh for equal three runs each in their first ever day-night ODI match. But Nepal’s skipper Gyanendra Malla and Paudel gave a much-needed stability to the innings, playing 89-run partnership for the third wicket. The duo also surpassed the previous highest ODI partnership of 84 runs for Nepal held by Kushal Malla and Binod Bhandari against USA in 2020.
Malla, the third wicket to fall, scored 45 runs off 70 deliveries that included three fours and two sixes. He was trapped leg before by Chad Soper. Paudel played a patient knock of 86 runs off 123 balls. He hit two fours and three sixes before being caught by Tony Ura off Soper as the eighth wicket in 48.4 overs.
Lower middle order batsman Karan KC also made remarkable contributions with the bat scoring 42 off 26. He hit two fences and four sixes before being caught by Assad Vala off Soper. Binod Bhandari (17 runs) and Sompal Kami (11 runs) were the other Nepali batsmen to score double-digit figures.
Soper was the most successful bowler for PNG with three wickets in his nine over bowling giving away 45 runs. Morea and Norman Vanua pocketed two wickets each.
In the run chase, PNG never settled well with the bat as they lost wickets in quick succession. Tony Ura (19 runs), Charles Amini (16 runs), Sese Bau (11 runs), Gaudi Toka (10 runs) and Norman Vanua (12 runs) were the only batsmen for PNG to reach double digit figures.
PNG lost their first two wickets with 11 runs on board as opener Lega Siaka was bowled by Kami for four runs and skipper Vala was dismissed for one run. Vala was caught behind by wicketkeeper Bhandari off BIkram Sob.
Ura, the other opener and highest scorer for PNG with 19 runs under his belt, was run out by Paudel. Lamichhane made his breakthrough in 11.2 over trapping Charles Amini leg before as PNG were tottering at 4-44. He made Kipling Doriga his next victim in 13.3 overs and Sese Bau was removed by the leg spinner as sixth wicket in the last ball of the 16th over.
Gaudi Toka was then caught by skipper Malla off Lamichhane, while Chad Soper and Kabua Morea were also removed by Lamichhane.
Lamichhane gave away 11 runs in his 5.1 overs bowling, returning with six wickets.
The two match bilateral ODI series was played to fine tune both teams’ preparations for the Tri-Series of the ICC Cricket World Cup League 2. Nepal are set to play Tri-Series involving hosts Oman and USA from September 13 to 20.