Nepal’s national cricket team, battling division five in 2018, claimed the One Day International (ODI) status after a decade. Nepal’s win over PNG and Hong Kong’s loss to the Netherlands secured them ODI status on 15th march 2018.
Since claiming the ODI status, Nepal’s run has been ordinary, claiming just 13 wins from 30 matches. The record could have been better if only Nepali batters stepped up, chasing an average total. The fragility in batting has seen Nepal losing many games in the ongoing CWC League 2 matches. Those valuable points might snatch the ODI status from Nepal in the coming days.
Batting has been a significant concern for Nepal for an extended period, but today we look at Nepal’s five highest ODI totals.
5. 249/8 vs Oman (February 9, 2020)
The fifth highest score came against Oman on home soil. Invited to bat first, Gyanendra Malla scored a half-century while Paras Khadka and Binod Bhandari assisted 34 and 38 runs, respectively. Aaqib Iilyas’ scintillating all-round performance (4 for 36 & 109*) stunned the home team as Oman chased the total with 16 balls spare, losing just two wickets.
4. 255/6 vs UAE (January 28, 2019)
This match against UAE will always remain on top as one of the most memorable matches among Nepalese fans. Chasing 255 at ICC Cricket Academy, Dubai, Paras Khadka’s century took Nepal home with 32 balls spare. Paras Khadka became the first ODI centurion in the decisive match and led his side towards the maiden ODI series win.
3. 274 vs USA (June 11, 2022)
274 vs the USA at Moosa Cricket Stadium, Pearland is Nepal’s highest overseas score. Despite posting a decent total, Steven Taylor’s ton shocked Nepal as the match ended in a tie after the final over drama. Aasif Sheikh, Dev Khanal, and Rohit Paudel coming in at number 2, 3, and 4 respectively, scored a half-century for Nepal.
2. 278/8 vs PNG (March 26, 2022)
With the series on line, Nepal piled up a decent total against the touring PNG side. Dipendra Singh Airee notched up a century and became the second Nepali batter after Paras Khadka to score a ton in both ODI and T20I; however, Assad Vala’s men chased the total with four balls spare to stun the home crowd. One good thing about this match was Dev Khanal’s rise as the new number 3 for Nepal.
1. 286/8 vs PNG (March 25, 2022)
Interestingly, Nepal’s top two highest ODI scores came against PNG at TU cricket ground in a losing cause. Chasing a massive total of 293, Rohit Paudel’s scintillating 126 runs from just 107 balls was not enough for the victory. Nepal fell six runs short after no other batter stepped up and support Rohit in the middle. Earlier, Assad Vala and Charles Amini scored a half-century as PNG racked up a competent total.
UPDATE (February 14 2023): Nepalese team scored 287 runs against Namibia at the TU cricket ground and set a new record for the highest ODI total as well as the highest successful chase. Karan KC picked up a fifer, while Kushal Bhurtel scored a scintillating ton in Nepal’s two-wicket win with 14 balls spare.