KC pulls off stunning Nepal winNo 10 batsman Karan KC pulled Nepal out from the jaws of defeat on Wednesday to seal a ticket to next month’s ICC World Cup Qualifiers with a last-ball thriller against Canada in Windhoek, Namibia.
No 10 batsman Karan KC pulled Nepal out from the jaws of defeat on Wednesday to seal a ticket to next month’s ICC World Cup Qualifiers with a last-ball thriller against Canada in Windhoek, Namibia.
The one-wicket win ensured Nepal finish top of the six-team standings with eight points from five matches. The defeat came as heartbreak for Canada as they were pipped into second place by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), who beat Namibia by 19. The UAE joined Nepal for the Qualifiers in Zimbabwe despite tying on six points with Canada and Namibia. Nepal and the UAE will now play in the title match of the ICC World Cricket League Division 2 on Thursday.
Chasing 195-run target, Nepal appeared destined for a certain defeat with 144-9 in 42.1 overs with KC and Sandeep Lamichhane in the crease. But KC played an inning of his life to pull off an unlikely victory, scoring an unbeaten 42 runs. His 31-ball knock included four sixes and three fours. Lamichhane (5) played his part staying put with man-of-the-match KC.
Earlier, Cecil Pervez rocked the Nepali top order after he removed Gyanendra Malla (9) and Khadka for a golden duck after being hit for a six by the opener. Another opener Dilip Nath and Dipendra Singh Airee (18) resurrected the innings with a 50-run partnership for the third wicket. But Pervez returned for another spell and triggered another mini collapse for Nepal getting Nath out caught behind. Nath made 41 from 68 with five boundaries.
Nepal then lost new man Sharad Vesawkar (one) and Airee to be 81-5 in 25 overs. Young duo of Aarif Sheikh and Rohit Kumar Paudel kept Nepal in the game but their 46-run partnership for the sixth wicket ended in the 38th over after Satsimranjit Dhindsa removed the latter. Paudel made 27 off 42 balls with two boundaries. They appeared heading for defeat after Sheikh lost his wicket with Nepal needing 51 from 48 deliveries. Sheikh made 26 off 57 balls with a boundary.
Canadian innings was built on Srimantha Wijeretne—a former Sri Lankan U-19 cricketer—who scored an unbeaten century to help post 194-8 in 50 overs. He gave a positive start to Canada sharing 46 runs for the opening wicket with Ruvindu Gunasekera. With batting powerplay still on, Basanta Regmi came in to bowl the 11th over and the veteran left-arm spinner struck with the dismissal of tournament’s leading run scorer Gunasekera (9). Leg spinner Lamichhane starred with the prized scalp of Canada captain Nitish Kumar (5)—also the second highest run scorer of the tournament.
Lamichhane returned again to get rid of Dhanuka Pathirana (2) before Regmi had Navneet Dhaliwal stumped by wicketkeeper Nath as Canada were reduced to 90-4 in 26.4 overs. Wijeretne and Hamza Tariq shared 40 runs for the fifth wicket to consolidate the innings. Right-arm seamer KC finally gave the breakthrough after he removed Tariq, caught by Aarif Sheikh. However, Wijeretne stayed put and together with lower middle order batsmen guided Canada close to 200 runs. Canada were reduced to 161-8 but Wijeretne and Satsimranjit Dhindsa shared an unbeaten 33 runs for the ninth wicket.
Wijeretne completed his century with a boundary off the last ball of the 49th over bowled by Sompal Kami. He remained unbeaten with a composed 103 from 152 deliveries hitting eight boundaries. Tariq was the second best scorer for Canada with a 30-ball 24, while Dhindsa chipped in 18 off 19 with a six, also off Lamichhane. Regmi was the pick of the Nepali bowlers with 3-34, while Lamichhane took 2-44.
Team P W L NR Pts NRR
Nepal 5 4 1 0 8 -0.124
UAE 5 3 2 0 6 1.034
Canada 5 3 2 0 6 0.868
Namibia 5 3 2 0 6 0.566
Oman 5 2 3 0 4 -0.508
Kenya 5 0 5 0 0 -1.834
Nepal 195-9 in 50 overs (Karan KC 42*, D Nath 41; C Pervez 3-41, N Dutta 2-23, SB Zafar 2-26) beat Canada 194-8 in 50 overs (S Wijeratne 103*; B Regmi 3-34, S Lamichhane 2-40, Karan KC 1-40)
by one wicket
Man-of-the-match: Karan KC (NEP)