Kathamndu- Papua New Guinea (PNG) got better of Nepal just by 2 wickets in the first match of the second round of the ICC WCL Championship in a match played at Sheikh Zyed Stadium, Abu Dhabi, on Monday.
In a close encounter, Assad Vala’s heroics with the bat helped PNG chase a target of 233 runs in the third ball of the last over with just two wickets remaining as Nepal dropped several catches in the second innings. Vala shone with the ball as well picking up three wickets.
Tony Ura provided PNG a brisk start with a quickfire 30 runs from 24 balls before he fell to Paras Khadka in the 7th over leaving PNG 35 for 1. Paras stroke again, getting Saika caught behind for 12 runs. Mehabob Alam’s two wickets, a run out and Sagar Pun’s wickets had PNG slumped from 49 for 2 to 138 for 6. Vala and Charles Amini then anchored PNG’s innings with a stand of 65 runs for the seventh wicket.
Vala was dropped thrice, twice by Prithu Baskota and once by Basant Regmi that changed the course of the match.
Shakti Gauchan and Sompal Kami gave Nepal some hope bowling tight lines and wickets in the latter part of the innings but Reva finished the match in style with a four off Basant Regmi in the third ball of the last over.
Earlier Nepal posted 232 for 8 in the allotted overs, thanks largely to Sharad Veswakar’s 78 runs from 82 balls and Subash Khakurel’s 63 runs off 103 balls.
Nepal opted to bat first after winning the toss. Norman Vanua trapped in-form opener Anil Mandal in the first ball of the match. Next man in Sagar Pun failed cheaply for 10 runs off 23 balls in the 8th over to put Nepal on trouble. Gyanendra Malla tried to hang around with the other opener Subash Khakurel but he lost his wicket while flicking the middle stump ball and was trapped in front after scoring 23 runs.
Likewise, Skipper Paras Khadka became the victim of Dai for 6(16). Opener Khakurel was the next batsman to be dismissed by Dai after a well made half century. His inning of 63 runs off 104 balls with two boundaries helped Nepal to reach 142/5 in 34.5 overs. Sompal Kami was next to go, stumped for 8(15). At 40th over, Nepal lost its sixth wicket for 168.
10 overs to go and Nepal was under pressure to score runs. But Sharad Vesawkar and Basant Regmi added 52 runs for 8th wicket to guide Nepal to 232 runs in 50 overs. Sharad Vesawakar scored 78(82) with 5 boundaries while Basant Regmi was unbeaten on 24(23).
Assad Vala was the pick of the bowler as he grabbed three wickets in his 7 overs (A Vala 7-0-32-3). Mahuru Dai took two wickets while JB Reva, CA Soper and N Vanua shared wicket a piece.
Nepal plays the same team in the second match on November 18.