-  Tuesday 19 January 2021

Nepal beats Namibia by 7 wickets

COLOMBO, SRI LANKA, Feb 2 - Nepal's suspicious batting order put up a dazzling show to crush the African qualifier to the ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup, Namibia, by seven wickets in the first of the two official practice matches today at the BRC Club Ground.
Skipper Kanishka Chaugai and his new opening partner Mahesh Chhetri put up a match-winning 107-run stand chasing the target of 202 set by Namibia. The match, originally scheduled for Thursday, was played today because of age-verification test on Thursday.

It was one of the rare occasions for Nepal to have successfully chased the target past 200 runs.

Kanishka was unlucky to have missed a half century by a run while wicketkeeper Mahesh played a good hand of 36 runs. Kanishka looked in good touch and hit two sixes along with four boundaries while Mahesh settled well after a shaky start.

Nepal was once cruising along to an easy victory with 105 for no loss in 20 overs but the match went too close as Paras Khadka hit the winning run in the third ball of the 49th over.

Namibian left arm spinners, LP Van der Westhuizen and A Louw bowled tight line in the middle to pull the match close.

Paras broke free of the stranglehold of the Namibian spinners with a quick 20 after Gyanendra Malla departed for 29 runs. 'Not so fluent' Sharad Vesawkar remained unbeaten on 33. The partnership between Gyanendra and Sharad was marred with repeated misunderstandings while running between the wickets.

Earlier, Namibia had no hesitation to bat first at the good batting track after winning the toss. Paras, who opened the bowling with Bantu Bataju provided the first break through in the eighth over. Abhaya Rana came in as the first change bowler and took two wickets in two successive deliveries in his very first over to reduce Namibia to 44/3 in 14 overs.

It was the magnificent 73-run sixth wicket stand between Namibian super-sub HR Prinsool (57) and E Esteenkhamp (50) that resurrected the innings. Both batsmen capitalized on the dropped chances to take Namibia to 201/9 in 50 overs.

Left-arm spinner Raj Shrestha was very effective and picked up three wickets. Paras too added one more while Bantu got one in his bag. However the number of catches that went down exceeded half a dozen.

Nepal will play its second practice match against Scotland on Friday.


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