Nepal entered the finals of the WCL Division 3 Cricket Today after they beat Italy in their match and with a little help from Bermuda who defeated much fancied USA in the final round robin match of the tournament. Nepal, USA and Bermuda after 5 matches had 3 WINS and 6 points to their name but Nepal bettered USA and Bermuda in terms Net Run Rate(NRR) to enter the final of the much coveted tournament.
Reaching the final means that Nepal will now be upgraded to Division 2 and will also feature in 10 Nation World Cup Qualification Tournament to be held in New Zealand in 2014 from where 2 teams will make it to World Cup 2015.
Nepal’s exceptional bowling backed by aggressive intent of top order batsmen meant that Nepal chased down Italy’s 128 run target in 14.5 overs-providing Nepal the ideal boost in the NRR required to beat that of USA. USA had set a target of 221 to Bermuda that Bermuda chased down rather easily with over 5 overs to spare.
Nepal needing to boost their NRR -it was clear they wanted to repeat what they did to Bermuda: restricting opponent to small total and running away with the game while chasing. Nepal pulled off a similar victory today as well.
USA’s NRR had plummeted after losing to Uganda by 82 runs in their previous match; losing to Bermuda left USA with just three wins. Beating Italy Nepal also had 3 wins under its belt, but emphatic manner in which Nepal registered wins against Bermuda(in 11.2 over) and Italy(14.5 overs) ensured Nepal had higher Net Run Rate at end of the day.
Winning the toss and fielding first Nepal restricted Italy to 127 runs in 50 overs.Nepal went into the game with 4 front line spinners and no seamer and the spinners did not disappoint especially Rahul Viswakarma, who was making a come back into the team after more than 2 years. Rahul picked 3 wickets giving away just 28 runs in his 10 overs and was rightly adjudged The “Player of the Match”later on. Sanjam Regmi bagged 3 wickets as well. Shakti Gauchan got 2 wickets while Basanta Regmi chipped in with one. All the bowlers ended their day with ex termly economic figures. Sanjam gave 32, Paras 24, Basanta 22, and Shakti 15 of their quota of 10 overs.
Chasing 128 Nepali opener’s finally clicked in the tournament providing team with ideal opening stand of 87 runs in 12 overs. Shubash added 47 off 35 balls before he fell to di Giglio in the last ball of 12th over. Paras then came in and scored a fiery 22 off 8 balls. He got out when Nepal needed only 9 more runs for victory. Vice Captain Gyanendra Malla didn’t waste a second when he replaced Paras smacking 6 and a 4 in the first two balls to seal a easy victory for Nepal in 14.5 overs. Pardeep Airee held the innings at other end scoring 42 not out of 43 balls.
Nepal’s fate however was decided by the match between US and Bermuda- Bermuda had to beat US in the match for Nepal to qualify and it did just that.
Winning the toss and batting first USA riding on half century from opener Al Dodson and 45 of 43 balls from number 7 NC McGarrell put up fighting score of 220 for loss of 9 wickets in the 50 overs. Bermuda made a cake walk of the target getting there in just 44.4 overs losing just 5 wickets.
Chasing 221 in a must win match for Bermuda (the loss would have meant relegation to Division IV for Bermuda) they got off to a flyer thanks to youngster Chris Douglas who piled up 89 runs for 75 balls to set up a strong foundation for Bermuda’ win. Tucker in the end scored 37 runs of just 23 balls to ensure Bermuda’s victory. Tucker came into bat in 35th over-the score then 156-4. Bermuda needed 61 more runs to win, his hard hitting batting got the 61 in 10 overs sealing the emphatic win over arch rivals USA
Nepal had stared the tournament with 2 big losses, losing to USA in the opener by 74 runs and to Uganda by 6 wickets in the following . At that moment Nepal was in verge of relegating to Division 4 sitting at the bottom of the points table after the losses. But Team Nepal made a terrific comeback defeating teams like Italy and host Bermuda by massive margin to compensate for the negative NRR at the start.
Nepal will now take on Uganda in the final of the Division 3, to be played tomorrow.