Opinion

Nepal makes history in Zimbabwe

A very big congratulations to Nepal Cricket team for earning the One Day International Status. You deserved it. You have made yourselves and the country extremely proud.

We are so proud of you. All your hard work, never give up attitude finally paid rich dividends, despite challenges and adversity. It is a historical accomplishment for Nepal cricket, and we should relish and celebrate the moment.

My congratulations to Skipper Paras Khadka and the entire coaching staff for their relentless effort in the pursuit of greatness.

From Namibia to Zimbabwe, it has been a roller coaster ride for the team with some high points and low points. They have managed to ride out the storm and has come out as big winners at the end. They did not let up in their efforts till the last ball. We could not have asked for more. The achievement is huge and a milestone in the cricket history of the country. It is a new dawn for cricket in Nepal and opens up new avenues and exciting possibilities for cricket in the country.

Back to the playoff match, yet again Nepal found themselves in a spot of bother. There was
not the slightest room for complacency. Regardless, they had to win and come out firing on all cylinders.
It was no time to let down. Much to everyone’s relief, they produced a dominating performance and effortlessly eased past Papua New Guinea, keeping their One Day International Status Hopes Alive.

Another day, another match was not required by Nepal to seal the deal or break the suspense that kept everyone on the edge of their seats. It turned out to be a very short wait. I felt very relieved because I didn’t have to resort to guessings and speculations further.

Hours after Nepal completed a comprehensive victory over Papua New Guinea, they earned the One Day International Status, following the defeat of Hong Kong at the hands of the Netherlands.

The run chase for Nepal was made relatively easy largely to bowlers excellent performance. In fact, it was by far their best showing in the competition to date. It came at the right time and the
right moment.

Nepal bowler Sandeep Lamichhane celebrates a wicket with team mates during a World Cup Qualifier play off cricket match between Nepal and Papua New Guinea at Old Hararians Sports Club March 15 2018 (©ICC).

The bowler’s performance was key to Nepal’s success. They had to perform well and restrict
the opposition from scoring big to ease the pressure on the inconsistent batsmen. Right from the word go the bowlers were up to their task, bang on target and bottled up the opponent with an array of tight, accurate and sharp bowling.

Every bowler rose to the occasion but spinning duo Sandeep Lamichhane and Dipendra Singh Airee stood out. They ripped through the batting order, restricting the opponent to a meagre 114 runs. The two
claimed 4 wickets each. To sum up, it was an outstanding piece of bowling. It is fair to say that
the bowlers won the match for the team.

In reply, there were the usual batting hiccups, however, player of the match, the highly talented
allrounder Airee dazzled with the bat scoring a brilliant half-century and guided his team to a resounding victory. Upcoming Aarif Sheikh contributed a valuable 26.

7th place play-off match
Nepal takes on the Netherlands for the seventh position. Having earned the One Day International status and with the pressure off their backs, Khadka and his boys have the momentum, but it would be a mistake if they relax and let their guard down. They still have a job to finish.

Nepal has already achieved big and has nothing to lose against the Netherlands. They need to be one hundred percent focused and put in a solid performance. It is very important to finish the competition on a high note. if they do so, they stand a very good chance to emerge victorious at the end of the day.