ICC/Kuala Lumpur: Nepal’s Subash Khakurel became the second centurion of the Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 4 (WCL Div. 4) after the 19-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman smashed his way to 115 runs against USA to help secure another victory for his team.
The young right-hander recently appeared for Nepal in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup in Australia and his innings today helped the side to a respectable 258 in the team’s allotted 50 overs. Ultimately the target proved too big for the Americans to chase down, despite a patient 106-ball 84 from Sushil Nadkarni, and the Nepalese won by 32 runs.
Paras Khadka’s Nepal made it four wins out of four at Kinrara Oval after strong batting by the Nepalese top order and some expensive bowling the USA. Subash Khakurel was the star of Nepal’s innings with his 142-ball 115, but he was assisted in his run-making by Gayendra Malla and Khadka to pile on the runs.
USA’s bowling attack leaked runs-a-plenty, with Timroy Allen proving particularly expensive in his 10 overs (2-69) while Ryan Corns managed just one wicket for 44 runs.
In reply, Sushil Nadkarni corner-stoned the USA innings with his 84 runs, helped by captain Steve Massiah (41 runs) but the side fell short of the target after some impressive bowling once again by in-form Basanta Regmi. The medium-pacer snapped up Massiah’s wicket as well as top-order batsman Orlando Baker to finish with figures of 10-1-35-5 and currently is the top bowler in the tournament with 14 wickets.
Man of the Match Khakural said: “I’m glad that my 115 runs were able to help the team beat the USA in this match.
“I’m feeling great after scoring this century because I was a bit worried due to the swing from the pace bowlers at the beginning, but I managed to build my confidence by picking lots of singles and build from there.”
Khadka added: “Playing top teams like the USA will always be a close encounter and credit should go to all the players for the hard fought win. It was a great team performance from Nepal and we deserve the win today.”
Subash’s century is the fourth by Nepali senior team player in international matches. It is also the highest. Other three to score a hundred are Shakti Gauchan(106 n.o.), Sharad Vesawkar(105 n.o.) and Raju Khadka(105 n.o.).
The tournament gets exciting as Nepal play Denmark on Sunday and Singapore face USA. Nepal have the strong chance of being qualified for the Division III with the superior match results. Denmark need to defeat Nepal by a huge margin to get qualified. While, Denmark, USA and Singapore will vie for the second spot if USA wins against USA and Denmark loses to Nepal.
Nepal 258-8, 50 overs (Khakurel 115, Malla 46, Khadka 41; Allen 2-69)
USA 226 all out, 48.2 overs (Nadkarni 84, Massiah 41; B Regmi 5-35)
Nepal won by 32 runs
Player of the Match: Subash Khakurel (Nepal)