Nepal lose first practice match in IndiaThe Rhinos crash to a two-wicket defeat against DDCA despite Paudel and Airee tons.
Nepal failed to cash in on centuries by captain Rohit Paudel and Dipendra Singh Airee as they succumbed to a two-wicket defeat at the hands of Delhi District Cricket Association (DDCA) in their first 50-over practice match at the Jamia Millia Islamia University Ground on Thursday.
Opener Arjun Saud’s poor form continued in India as well. He departed for a nought after Nepal won the toss and elected to bat first.
Saud’s opening mate Aasif Sheikh and former captain Gyanendra Malla also returned to the pavilion without making a run as Nepal were reeling at 2-3.
But Paudel steadied the innings, slamming 113 off 135 balls that included 11 fours and one six. Airee also put on a valiant display, hitting 109 in an aggressive 62-ball knock that featured eight boundaries and six sixes. The duo inspired Nepal to a huge total of 303.
Paudel and Airee put together a 120-run stand for the sixth wicket before Arjun Raparia removed the former in the 45.5 overs. Paudel also shared a 64-run partnership with Kushal Bhurtel who also failed to make any impression, returning to the pavilion scoring 21 runs.
Airee then shared a 59-run partnership with Aarif Sheikh, who made 18 not out.
Harishankhar Sah contributed 25 runs. Gulsan Jha and Sompal Kami could not even open the scoring.
Prince Yadav returned 3-42 and Manish Sherawat took 2-52 for DDCA.
In reply, DDCA chased the target in 49.3 overs at the loss of 8 wickets after Nepali bowlers failed to make an impact.
Opener Salil Malhotra top scored for DDCA hitting 53 runs in 60 deliveries. Vaibhav Sharma (44), Dhruv Kaushik (41) and Yash Vardhan Oberio (42 not out) helped DDCA reach 305.
Opener Tilak Thakur made 15 runs and Saksham Sharma scored 33.
Bhurtel took three wickets giving away 36 runs in his six-over spell. Nandav Yadav pocketed two while Kami, Lalit Rajbanshi and Sah grabbed a wicket each.
Nepal will play their second practice match against the same team on Friday before leaving for Namibia on Sunday.
Nepal are currently on a India tour as part of their preparation for the upcoming Namibia-Nepal-Scotland Tri-series of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup League 2, which is set to take place from December 1 to 8 in Windhoek, Namibia.
Nepal will open their campaign against the hosts on December 2.
Nepal are sixth in the seven-team standings with 17 points from 20 matches. Namibia are fourth with 28 points from 23 matches. Scotland are second with 40 points after playing 28 matches.
Oman lead the standings with 44 points after playing all 36 games.
The top three sides at the end of the League 2 cycle, in which each team will play 36 games, will qualify for the ICC World Cup Qualifiers in Zimbabwe next year while the bottom four sides will enter the Qualifier playoffs.