Nepal loses to Zimbabwe in Singapore T20 tri-series opener

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Nepal lost its first outing of the Singapore tri-series with a five-wicket loss against Zimbabwe side on Friday at Indian Association ground.

Winning the toss, Skipper Paras Khadka walked out to open the batting with debutant Ishan Pandey. The top-order had a shaky start and lost the wickets of Pandey (4), Khadka (18), Aarif Sheikh (8) and Kushal Malla (2) in a cluster to leave themselves 55/4 in the 11th over. It was then up to Dipendra Singh Airee to bat with the tail. He made 33-ball 40 runs with five boundaries before being dismissed.

His dismissal exposed the lower order, however, Sundeep Jora (17), Binod Bhandari (11) and Sompal Kami (25) to free their arms and get their side up to 132/6 after 20 overs. Kami smashed three sixes in the cameo off 14 balls towards the end.

Williams was the pick of the bowlers for Zimbabwe with 2/19 from his four overs.

Zimbabwe’s chase started well with Brian Chari (19), on his T20I debut, hitting three consecutive boundaries in the first over but Nepal soon responded and Sandeep Lamichhane stepped up to send the Chevrons into a spin. He picked up the wickets of Regis Chakabva (0), Tinotenda Mutombodzi (0) and Williams (0) for a golden duck to put his side into the ascendancy. When Khadka went through the gate of Timycen Maruma (12) in the 10th over, Zimbabwe were 64/5 with Burl and Mutumbami at the crease.

The pair consolidated, playing out Lamichhane’s final over, before launching a brutal assault from the 15th over. Mutumbani kicked things off by smoking Abinash Bohara and Malla into the stands before Burl joined in, completing the Malla over with two sixes and a four. That left them requiring just four runs from the final three overs and they knocked them off with ease, completing the game with a two from the first ball on the 19th over.

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