Nepal

KATHMANDU, Feb 14: Nepal has qualified for the World Cup Qualifiers, to be held in Zimbabwe next month, after defeating Canada by 1 run in the last-ball thriller in the ongoing ICC World Cricket League Division Two on Wednesday.

Nepal chased down 195, off the game’s final ball against Canada, to secure their spot in the upcoming World Cup qualifiers in Zimbabwe.

At the Wanderers Cricket Ground in Windhoek, Namibia, Nepal made a poor start losing opener Gyanendra Malla for just 9 runs and captain Paras Khadka for a first ball duck. Sharad Veshwakar too went out early scoring only 1 run in 5 balls.

Building on the 45 runs scored by wicket-keeper batsman Dilip Nath and 18 runs by Dipendra Singh Airee, Aarif Sheikh and Rohit Kumar took Nepal closer to the victory target.

Tottering at 144 for 9, Nepal’s last-wicket pair of Karan KC (42*) and Sandeep Lamichhane (5*) added 51 off the final 47 balls to down their opponents by one wicket.

Canada needed to defend seven runs off the final over, and started remarkably well when medium-pacer Cecil Parvez delivered four dot balls to start the 50th.

With Nepal’s equation reading eight off two balls, Karan smacked a six over cover to bring the scenario to two off the last ball.

Parvez then delivered one down the leg side, which the umpire called wide, thereby tying the game. With one needed off the final ball, Karan tapped a full toss towards midwicket and sealed Nepal’s remarkable win.

Earlier, deciding to bowl first, Nepal restricted Canada to an average total of 194 runs, claiming 8 wickets in the stipulated 50 overs.

Basant Regmi was the pick of the bowlers for Nepal, taking 3 wickets and giving away only 34 runs in 10 overs. Sandeep Lamichhane took 2 wickets while Karan KC and Sharad Veshwakar took 1 wicket each.

The Canadian total was built around the 103 runs scored by opener Srimantha Wijerante, who remained undefeated at the end of the innings.

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