Paras Khadka and Sandeep Lamichhane © Getty Images
Paras Khadka and Sandeep Lamichhane © Getty Images

Nepal lost 2 crucial wickets in the final 2 overs. Their settled batsmen Aarif Sheikh and Rohit Paudel, who were on course to their respective fifties, were removed in succession. Kenya kept Nepal on the back foot till the last ball. Yet, Nepal were undeterred and marched towards victory by 3 wickets in Match 10 of ICC World Cricket League Division 2 at Windhoek. This was second such instance of the match at this venue going down to the last ball. Nepal had won against Namibia here by a wicket. With this, Nepal have total 6 points and are placed second  in the WCL table.

How it panned out

When Nepal were 14 for 3, they would not have fancied their chance of emerging triumphant. Kenya’s Emmanuel Ringera dashed Nepal’s hopes early when he removed the openers in succession. However, they still had Paras Khadka at the crease. He took Nepal to a safe zone as he exploded in the middle overs. However, Nepal’s progression came to a standstill once Khadka was pocketed for 42. Since then, Kenya bowlers soaked up the runs for a brief period with their disciplined and accurate bowling. Nepal, whose batting has been below par in the tournament, quashed the critics.

Sheikh and Paudel kept the Nepal innings afloat. The duo added a resilient 87-run partnership that snatched the momentum from Kenya.

Earlier, Kenya openers Irfan Karim and Alex Obanda were off to a watchful start. While Karim took his time to find his mojo, Obanda fast tracked the innings. However, Lamichhane answered the captain’s call: Obanda was bowled for 41. Thereafter Lamichhane never allowed Kenya to recover. He carried his stupendous form and ran through the top as well as middle order. Yet, the lower-order anchored the Kenya innings. Nelson Odhiambo and Shem Ngoche went all guns blazing. In the final five overs, the duo added 38 runs that included 2 sixes and a four.

Lamichhane ended with figures of 10-5-20-5. Basant Regmi, Sharad Vesawkar and Sompal Kami also plucked a wicket apiece.

Nepal will now face the table-toppers Canada on February 14th to earn their spot in the final.

Brief scores:

Kenya 177 for 8 in 50 overs (Irfan Karim 42, Alex Obanda 41; Sandeep Lamichhane 5 for 20) vs Nepal 178 for 7 in 50 overs (Paras Khadka 42, Rohit Paudel 47; Emmanuel Ringera 3 for 19) by 3 wickets