Paras Khadka leads Nepal to victory

Paras Khadka made his third fifty of the tournament as Nepal registered a six wickets victory over Papua New Guinea in a thrilling match in ICC World Twenty20 Qualifiers Seventh Place Play Off final match at ICC Global Cricket Academy, Dubai on Friday.

Papua New Guinea who won the toss and chose to bat first scored a achievable 129 runs on board in loss of 5 wickets. Nepal in reply chased the target with a ball remaining.

Papua New Guinea had a good start from the openers Tony Ura and Christopher Kent with a first wicket partnership of 34 runs. But the loss of four wickets for 30 runs put Nepal restrict them to 129. At one stage where PNG was looking to score some big runs. The fifth wicket fell off at the first ball of nineteenth over where Chandra Sawad was bowling. Last over from skipper Paras Khadka went for 14 runs though.

Shakti Gauchan once again proved to be a handy bowler for Nepal as he took two wickets from his 4 overs conceding only 20 runs. Basanta Regmi, Paras Khadka and Chandra Sawad had a scalp each.

In reply, Nepal had a moderate start just in terms of the wicket. No runs were added till the third over where Nepal got 14 runs. Nepal lost Pradeep Airee for run out in the last ball of fourth over. Airee faced 11 balls hitting three fours. Gaynendra Malla was caught for a single run leaving Nepal to a trouble at 29 for 2. Anil Mandal joined Malla the very next over after umpire sent him for a lbw. Mandal scored 9 runs off 17 balls. Sharad Vesawkar shared a 21 runs partnership with Paras Khadka for the fourth wicket. Vesawkar scored 12 runs off 16 balls with a four.

Man of the match, Paras Khadka and Prithu Baskota shared a winning partnership of 75 runs to guide Nepal to a thrilling six wicket victory.

Needed 23 runs off the last 12 balls, Khadka hit a six in the fourth ball of the nineteenth over which proved to be a turning point for the match. While in the last over, 10 runs was needed, the first ball went for a four from Khadka. Reduced to 6 needed from 5,Khadka played a yorker ball for a quick single. Bakota played a four to teh backward point as the score has already been leveled. Single needed off three balls, Baskota missed a first one. A full delivery, the next ball, Baskota drived it to the mid on for the victory.

Khadka remained unbeaten at 63 runs off 43 balls while Prithu Baskota remained not out at 26 runs off 25 balls. Khadka smashed six fours and a six while Baskota hit three fours.

Joel Tom, Hitolo Areni and Chris Amini shared wicket apiece for PNG.

Nepal earlier had lost to P.N.G in the group stage by 35 runs.

Nepal finished seventh off the sixteen teams that participated in the qualifiers.

After the defeat, PNG stands eighth. While, Bermuda stands thirteenth while Uganda is ranked fourteenth after the defeat. Hong Kong defeated USA by 77 runs as they stand 11th and USA, 12th. Kenya defeated Italy to secure ninth place. Italy is on tenth. Scotland defeated Canada to stand fifth as Canada stands sixth. Ireland defeated Netherlands by seven wickets to fix a date with Namibia for a world cup spot decider.