Nepal thump Oman by seven wickets in Whatmore’s farewellKaran KC and Sandeep Lamichhane grab four wickets each while captain Gyanendra Malla scores a half-century in the last match overseen by head coach Dav Whatmore
Bowlers Karan KC and Sandeep Lamichhane shone for Nepal as they registered a thumping seven-wicket victory over Oman to grab their first ever One-Day International (ODI) victory over the hosts in their ICC World Cup League 2 match at the Al Amerat cricket ground in Muscat on Sunday.
Inviting Oman to bat first after winning the toss, Nepal never let Oman settle well with the bat. Medium pacer KC and star leg spinner Lamichhane grabbed four wickets each to restrict the home side at 121 runs in 37.1 overs in a perfect farewell for coach Dav Whatmore. In reply, Nepal chased the target in 18.2 overs losing three wickets after captain Gyanendra Malla scored a half century.
Nepal had made two changes in their playing lineup replacing Kushal Malla and Gulshan Jha with veteran Sharad Vesawkar and Aarif Sheikh and that paid off. Vesawkar, a middle order batsman and part-time bowler, claimed two wickets.
The World Cup winning coach Whatmore, assigned as the mentor of Nepal's men team in January, resigned from his post last month and it will be his last match with the national team.
It was also the first ODI victory of Nepal over Oman in their four encounters. In their first match of the Series on Tuesday, Nepal had gone down to the hosts by five wickets. Oman had defeated Nepal by six wickets and eight wickets respectively in their first two matches of the League 2 at the TU cricket grounds in Kirtipur in February, 2020.
KC grabbed the first three wickets including that of openers Jatinder Singh and Sufyn Mehmood for 13 runs and four runs respectively. The departure of Singh, caught by Aasif Sheikh in the third over, was a great relief for Nepal as he scored 107 runs on Tuesday.
He then removed Mehmood in the last delivery of the seventh over as he was caught by Sushan Bhari. Ayaan Khan, bowled out by KC, was the next batsman to be dismissed with seven runs in his account as the hosts were tottering at 30-3. KC also pocketed prized wicket captain Zeeshan Masqood who played a key role in prolonging Oman innings. Middle order Maqsood, who came to bat at number five, played a patient knock of 41 runs from 66 deliveries before being caught by wicketkeeper Binod Bhandari. He hit two boundaries and a six.
Lamichhane took three wickets in quick succession, leaving the home team struggling at 43-6. He trapped Mohammad Nadeem leg before for four runs on the last delivery of the 12th over while Suraj Kumar and Nestor Dhamba were out for duck in two successive deliveries. Kumar was bowled in the fourth ball of the 14th over and Dhamba was trapped leg before in the next delivery. He also bowled out Bilal Khan as the last wicket in 37.1 overs.
Vesawkar, who made the starting lineup for the first time in the last match of the Series, dismissed Sandeep Goud for eight runs and Naseem Khushi for 12 runs. Goud was caught by Sushan Bhari and Khushi by Kushal Bhurtel.
Chasing the target, opener Aasif Sheikh and captain Gyanendra Malla shared a 95-run stand for the second wicket after Kushal Bhurtel departed for six runs. Malla scored an unbeaten 52 runs off 46 deliveries that included four boundaries and two sixes. Aasif contributed 40 runs from 44 deliveries. He hit seven fences before being caught by Kalemullah off Nestro Dhamba in the 16th over. Rohit Paudel was bowled by Dhamba for six runs while Vesawkar was unbeaten on one run.
Apart from two wickets by Dhamba, Kalemullah clinched one for the home team.
With the win, Nepal climbed two spots up to fourth position in the League 2 standings with eight points from as many matches. Nepal won and lost two matches each in the Oman Tri-Series. They won and lost one match each both against USA and Oman. Oman lead the standings with 20 points from 13 matches.
League 2 also features United Arab Emirates, Scotland, Namibia and Papua New Guinea (PNG). Each team will play 36 ODIs in total by February 2023. The teams that finish top three will secure berths at the World Cup Qualifiers while the bottom four will compete in the World Cup Qualifiers playoff set to take place in Zimbabwe in June and July, 2023.