Namibia prevailed over a mediocre and out-of-sorts Nepal in the ICC Cricket World Cup League 2 in Scotland Saturday.
Namibia for the second successive match tasted victory against favourites but inconsistent Nepal. They comfortably won by 63 runs.
The winners opted to bat first after winning the toss, however, the decision seemed to have backfired as they lost quick wickets.
They fought back from 112 for 6 and 151 for 7 to post a fighting score of 199 in 49.2 overs. Notably, the tailenders made valuable contributions to the total.
Going into the match against Namibia, following a convincing win over Scotland, the expectation was high and Nepal had the chance to settle the score.
The combination of spin and pace attack reduced Namibia to 112 for 6. Things looked promising for Nepal but proved short-lived as they failed to clean up the innings.
Skipper Sandeep Lamichhane and Sompal Kami bowled extremely well and had the batters at their mercy.
Leggie Lamichhane produced another superb bowling performance. He took four wickets for 29 runs in 10 overs. And speedster Kami bowled well, capturing two wickets for 33 runs in 10 overs.
Once again the inability of bowlers to finish off tailenders made a big difference and was the turning point of the game and remains a concern for the team. My only fear is that it does not become a perennial problem.
While 199 looked reachable, the target proved to be a tall order for Nepali batters at the end of the day. In 37.5 overs they could only amass 136 runs
The innings never got going with wickets falling at regular intervals. In other words, it was a display of poor-quality batting.
What we witnessed was a familiar sight-inept and incompetent batting with the top order consisting of Kushal Bhurtel(0), Aasif Sheikh(34), Dev Khanal(1), Rohit Paudel (17), DS Airee (38) and Aarif Sheikh(4) making a total mess of the innings and falling well short of the target.
Finally, after a streak of poor runs, Dipendra Airee showed his all-round form, scoring 38 runs and claiming two wickets.
Undoubtedly, batting failure is hindering the progress and success of the team in a very big way. They have not been able to match the bowlers’ consistency and good performance.
The batters continue to lack composure, application, patience, focus, judgement, commitment, confidence, mental strength and techniques. They have failed to strike a balance between aggression and defence.
The manner in which they are throwing away wickets gives me the impression that they are not learning from their mistakes.
The young batters must seriously work on their weaknesses and find a way to become better players to serve the best interests of the team. They should not let the chance to play for the country go in vain. They have to make the most of it for a successful career.
In the final match, Nepal plays Scotland on Sunday.