-  Thursday 13 August 2020

Classy Sharad stars for Nepal

 Sharad Vesawkar made his second successive half-century against Scotland as Nepal comfortably chased the target of 190 to secure a convincing six-wicket win today in its last official practice match for the ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup here in Colombo.
Sharad had made 52 against Scotland in the plate championship in Bangladesh two years ago.

Today's victory was built on the combination of good bowling and batting. Stand-in captain Paras Khadka's decision to bowl first at the De Soysa Cricket Stadium in Moratuwa was justified despite the new ball bowlers, especially Bantu Bataju, bowling wides - thanks to excessive swing offered by the damp wicket.

Amrit Bhattarai gave the first breakthrough with his incoming delivery and Bantu added one more. Paras replaced Bantu after three overs. Bantu came back for his second spell to claim two more wickets.

Scotland was reeling at 79/6 but was rescued as SK Maclennan (26) and UA Mehmond (28) partnered 48 runs for the seventh wicket. More importantly, the heat took its toll on the Nepali bowlers as they let the last Scottish pair put 45 runs to total 189/9 in 50 overs. No 10 CS Macleod topscored with 32 runs.

Nepali openers Kanishka Chaugai, super-sub for Amrit, and Mahesh Chhetri once again gave a good start putting on 43 runs before the regular captain was adjudged lbw to Sri Lanka born Weerarathna for 14. Mahesh played patiently for 15.

The best part of Nepali chase was the 76-run third wicket stand between Sharad Vesawkar and Yashwant Subedi. Yashwant played well for his 27 runs and provided a good support for Sharad who showed his class and composure. He hit a total of 10 boundaries. Prem Chaudhary and Sharad ensured Nepal's victory in the 46th over.

“The toss was good to win but our batting is getting better and better every day and if we keep on putting good partnerships we can keep the winning streak,” said Paras.

“The wicket looked seamer's friendly in the morning and eased out in the post lunch session,” said Sharad. “Once I got set, it was not so difficult to bat on.”

Nepal now begins the U-19 World Cup campaign on Monday against England. The event will be inaugurated on Saturday - the Independence Day of the host country.

Sledging, no problem

The Scottish bowlers showed good liking to Australian brand of cricket trying to sledge out Nepali batsman. After every ball, the bowlers went up to the batsman uttering remarks. “They said many things in English but that's not a problem as I don't understand English,” said Mahesh Chhetri. Sharad Vesawkar was also at the receiving end but he answered them with his bat. When Nepal had just a couple of runs to win Sharad confronted Weerarathna.


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