In a must win situation Nepal carved out a convincing six wickets victory over the United States in the ICC World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe.
Chasing a modest total of 208, Nepal overcame early batting jitters to close the deal comfortably in 43 overs.
Coming at number three Bhim Sharki batted brilliantly for his unbeaten 77 and carried his bat till the end, ensuring the much needed victory for the team.
He was focused, applied himself and batted with confidence. He timed the ball beautifully and punished loose and bad balls whenever opportunities arose.
Airee put in a stellar performance by scoring an unbeaten 39 runs and picking up two wickets.
The bowlers bounced back after a somewhat subdued performance in the opening match.
Despite the absence of frontline bowler Sompal Kami, pacers duo Karan KC and Gulshan Jha did the job in style.
They were on fire and shared 7 wickets between them. Making the most of the bouncy pitch, they ran-riot through the US batters. The pace and accuracy just proved too much for them.
KC’s excellent bowling and four wicket haul had the opponent struggling for runs. He was ably supported by Jha. The youngster consistently bowled well and claimed 3 wickets.
However, the bowlers failed to wrap up the tail in a timely manner allowing the US batters to post a decent total of 207 runs from a disastrous 94/6.
The spinners had another disappointing match as they went wicketless. It was no different for star googly maestro Sandeep Lamichanne. For the second match in a row wickets did not come his way.
Front and center was US batter Shayan Jahangir. He single handedly defied the hostile bowling with gutsy and confident batting to crack a well made 100 and give his team a glimmer of hope.
With one win and a defeat, Nepal is still in the Super Six race. Their last two remaining matches in the group are against two formidable opponents West Indies and the Netherlands.
First they clash against the heavy favorites West Indies on Thursday. Team Nepal will have to be at the top of their game, be it bowling or batting or fielding.
The batters will have to deal with the opponent’s fiery pace attack. The have to be at their best to counter the Windies attack.
For that they will require a solid, determined, composed, confident, disciplined, intelligent, courageous and technically sound batting performance.
Batters must be able to work out partnerships as it is vital for building a winning total. They have to step up and rise to the occasion to meet the challenge. It is important for every specialist batter to make a meaningful contribution.
The performance of bowlers has a significant impact on the outcome of the match. Consistency is key to bowling success.
The bowlers will have to execute the game plan effectively. Since the spinners are getting nothing out of the pitch, the burden of delivering the goods rests upon the pace attack. Understandably they will be hard pushed to perform well.
Considering the batting strength of the opposition, it is essential for pacers to maintain a consistent line and length.
The fielding must be a notch above. Team Nepal must carry the momentum gained from the moral boosting win against the United States into the West Indies match.