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Kushal Bhurtel’s century helps Nepal complete a record chase

Kushal Bhurtel

Nepal has completed the highest-ever chase in ODI after successfully chasing a target of 286 in the first match of the Tri-Series. Kushal Bhurtel’s maiden ODI century powered Nepal towards a first win against Namibia in the last four matches in front of a bumper crowd at TU Cricket Ground. Nepal chased the total with 14 balls spare, losing eight wickets.

After the dismissal of Aasif Sheikh (0) and Gyanendra Malla (25), Kushal Bhurtel and Rohit Paudel shared 136 runs for the third wicket, the highest-ever partnership for Nepal in ODI. The duo surpassed the record of 129 runs between Dev Khanal and Dipendra Singh Airee against PNG. Paudel scored 72 runs after getting a life while batting at 27 and 39 runs. Meanwhile, Bhurtel became the third Nepali batter after Paras Khadka and Dipendra Singh Airee to score a ton in both ODI and T20I.

Sundeep Jora contributed a vital 24-ball 28 in the crisis. But it was Karan Kc who smacked all over the park, making 20 runs from 12 balls at the end and securing Nepal’s victory. Kushal Bhurtel made 115 from 113 balls, smacking ten fours and four sixes. Sompal Kami scored the boundary and ensured Nepal’s highest-ever ODI total (287), surpassing a record of 286 against PNG.

Ruben Trumpelmann was the pick of a bowler for Namibia, grabbing three wickets (10-0-48-3). Jan Nicol Loftie-Eaton, Tangeni Lungameni, and Bernard Scholtz picked up one wicket each.

Earlier, Michael van Lingen’s consecutive century against Nepal helped Namibia post a decent total. Lingen’s career-best 133 and Zane Green’s electrifying cameo at the end saw Namibia post 285 in the allotted 50 overs after being invited to bat first.

Sompal Kami dismissed Louwrens in the third over before Sandeep Lamichhane knocked out Karl Birkenstock in his second ball after the comeback, as the Eagles were 45/2 in the 11th over. Gerhard Erasmus and Michael van Lingen then shared a huge partnership to boost the visitors’ inning. The duo added 124 runs for the third wicket before Kushal Malla yielded the breakthrough, sending Erasmus for 56 runs.

Van Lingen, on the other hand, scored his highest score in ODI, surpassing his previous best of 121 against Nepal itself. The southpaw, who was dropped at 55 by Rohit Paudel got another life later after Sompal Kami misjudged his catch at long-on, leading to a six while batting at 75. Lingen smacked nine fours and five sixes in his 137 balls inning.

Zane Green whacked a 19-ball 34 at the end with four boundaries and one maximum. Ruben Trumpelmann also smacked 11 runs from 4 balls. 

Karan Kc, who is nicknamed Valentine’s boy, grabbed a five-wicket haul for Nepal. This is his third fifer for Nepal in ODI. Sandeep Lamichhane also picked up three wickets in his comeback match (10-0-66-3). Kushal Malla and Sompal Kami also pocketed one each.