Nepal’s debut match in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup League 2 ended up with a 18-run loss against Oman on Wednesday.
The fifth series of the event took place in T.U. International Cricket ground in Kathmandu with Nepal and Oman match. However, the host had to face a close defeat in a low-scoring thriller.
Nepal won the toss and invited Oman to bat on what looked to be a slow pitch for batting. Oman started with a bad start but managed to pile up 197 runs in their 50 overs. Mohammad Nadeem made a fighting 96-ball 69 runs, with 5 fours and two sixes. Sandeep Goud and Muhammad Naseem contributed 33 and 28 runs respectively.
Karan KC claimed four wickets for Nepal.
Nepal openers struggled right from the start. Skipper Gyanendra Malla was dismissed for 1(12) and Paras Khadka made 3(14) runs. However, Dipendra Singh Airee and Sharad Vesawkar made a valuable 62-run partnership for the third wicket. Airee contributed 36 runs off 57 balls with 5 fours and a six before he was trapped leg before.
In the middle overs, Binod Bhandari made a run a ball 25 runs with 2 fours and a six but that was not enough for the team. Only Sandeep Lamichhane’s quick-fire 28 off 27 balls with 3 fours and six brought the excitement in the crowd but it was not enough for Nepal to chase down 198 runs.
Earlier, Sharad Vesawkar came at No. 3 and managed a well-compiled half-century, his maiden fifty in ODI from 108 balls but he couldn’t guide the host to a victory in front of the sold-out crowd.
Zeeshan Maqsood was the pick of the bowlers for Oman. He managed to restrict with three maidens, and three wickets and gave away 30 runs in 10 overs. Bilal Khan and Kaleemullah shared two wickets each.
Mohammad Nadeem was adjudged player of the match.