Nepal win decisive match to lift Kenya SeriesFormer captain Malla scores 59 and Paudel 47 as Nepal post 175-6 before restricting Kenya at 144-7 to clinch Series 3-2.
A half century from Gyanendra Malla and decent batting from Rohit Paudel inspired Nepal to a 31-run win over hosts Kenya in the series decider as the visitors wrapped up the five-match Twenty20 International Series 3-2 in Nairobi on Tuesday.
Former captain Malla, who came to open the innings with Arjun Saud, scored 59 runs and Paudel cracked 47 as Nepal posted a challenging total of 175-6 after they elected to bat first and restricted the home team at 144-7.
Unlike in the last four matches, Nepal made a strong start to their innings and played a 65-run stand for the opening wicket before Saud was dismissed on 29 runs stumped by wicketkeeper Irfan Karim. He hit four fences and a maximum in his 21-ball innings.
The player-of-the-match Malla then shared a 40-run stand for the second wicket with Dipendra Singh Airee who contributed 22 off 18. He struck three fences before he was caught by Sukhdeep Singh of Vraj Patel. Malla, who got a lifeline on 47, reached his half century from 41 deliveries and departed at 3-125 on board.
It was Malla’s first half century after 23 matches. He also collected the second man-of-the-match trophy at the Series. He had last reached the half century mark in Nepal’s match of the 2019 South Asian Games against Bhutan when he scored 107 runs.
Paudel, who came to bat at number five, made another remarkable contribution and departed scoring three runs shy of half century. He cracked seven fences in his 25-ball blitz before he was dismissed in the penultimate delivery of the innings—caught by Singh in Nehemiah Odhiambo’s delivery.
Karan KC remained unbeaten on two runs while Pawan Sarraf and Mohammade Aadil Alam scored one and four runs, respectively.
Kenya bowler Nehemiah Odhiambo, Shem Ngoche and Vraj claimed two wickets each. Odhiambo conceded 19 runs in his two-over bowling, Ngoche gave away 33 runs in his four-over spell and Vraj gave away 23 runs in his four-over haul.
In the Kenya run chase, pacer Karan KC gave an early breakthrough to Nepal as he bowled out opener Singh for four runs in the second over.
Middle order Nehemiah Odhiambo contributed 22-ball 37, the highest of the innings, before he was caught and bowled by Basir Ahamad. He hit four fences and a six. Shem Ngoche contributed 33 runs remaining unbeaten in his 18-ball knock that included three fences and two sixes.
Opener Collins Obuya scored 30-ball 23 and wicketkeeper batter Irfan Karim hit 29-ball 28. Nelson Odhiambo was not out on 13 runs.
Nepal captain Sandip Lamichhane and Basir Ahamad grabbed two wickets each while KC, Alam and Airee had a share of one wicket each. Lamichhane, who removed both Rakep Patel and Sachin Bhudia in the 11th over, conceded 26 runs in his four-over spell. Ahamad gave away 30 runs in his four-over bowling.
Lamichhane was declared the player-of-the-series for his 12 wicket haul in five matches.
Nepal are also scheduled to play three 50-over matches against the Kenya team. The matches will take place on Friday, Saturday and Monday.