The Group-B fixture of the world cup qualifier’s featured Nepal and Scotland with a daydream to get featured in the super sixes of the prestigious event. Winning the toss, the fighter skipper from the land of Himalayas opted to bat first in a batting friendly seemed wicket in Bulawayo. Everything favored Nepal until the toss but their poor run with the bat from the top order led their side to lose 5 wickets inside the first 10 overs with staggering score strangling at 39 runs in the board. This is the worst thing that could happen to the determined Nepali Cricket fans.
Adding to the misery their top order batsmen could just score 8 runs which were 2 runs less than the runs conceded by Scotland in wides. The only batsmen that looked promising were their flamboyant skipper, the lone fighter Paras Khadka who scored 63 runs of 75 balls with 10 overs. Khadka’s end was looking out of the planet with nothing on the deck while other ends were seemed full of grasses transferred from fresh gardens of Centurion in South Africa back in the 90’s with Walsh and Ambrose bowling in tandem.
Once, skipper Khadka was dismissed in the 29th over with the team total of 100 runs, it just seemed like a formality to close the innings in hurry but yet another fight back from the lower order added 49 runs to give themselves an outside chance to defend this unexpected 150 runs.
“Parash Khadka crosses a mark of 1000 runs in List A cricket”
The bottom 5 produced 2 more runs than Khadka’s total score to reach a target which once never looked to cross 100 marks. The damage was done by the fierce Stuart Whittingham in his deadly quota of 10 overs with 3 scalps breaking the backbone Nepalese top order. To add a more salt in the wound, Evans, Berrington as well as Sole did with their effort of 2 from the former and a single wicket each from the latter.
The reply was not what Nepalese fans were mourning and buzzing in their tweets. It was rather a bold and strong message to the Nepalese fans when the 1st wicket added nearly more than their 5 batsmen. Yet again, the teen sensation, Sandeep Lamichhane got Nepal back in the game by picking up the 1st nail in the coffin.
At 87/4 in the 23rd over when Lalit Rajbansi bowled George Munsey trying to be extravagant in the run chase, Nepalese fan was hoping for a comeback but the Scottish skipper had another plan. He steadied the ship with an outstanding inning of 88 runs that sealed an outstanding victory to take his side over the line a step closer to the Scottish dream of being featured in the ICC World Cup 2019. He had also scored crucial 41 runs against Hong Kong while chasing 92 runs.
For Nepal it was a tandem of Basant and Sandeep that brought them back in the game with 57 runs in their 20 overs with 4 wickets and almost nothing to defend from their batsmen in an important match of the tournament.
While Scotland, Zimbabwe as well as Hong Kong looks formidable in the Group B to advance in the super sixes, Nepal and Afghanistan have very little chance with Nepal still hoping their rest two clashes with wounded Afghanistan and Confident Hong Kong to be in their favor while it’s almost over for the recent test nation Afghanistan to feature in this edition of the World Cup.
Nepal will play against Afghanistan on March 10, and with Hong Kong on March 12.