Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Academy registered an easy seven-wicket victory in a rain-interrupted match against Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) XI at the TU Cricket Ground on Thursday.
In the first of the three-match series, hailed as a test for the national team before World Cricket League Division 5, Nepal first failed to utilize the batting foundation and then witnessed strong batting from a ‘tough competitor.'
CAN XI, practically the national team, scored 152 in 46 overs after Binod Das elected to bat first. The visitor's run-chase was halted by rainfall and their innings reduced to 29 overs.
The target was revised to 112 which they scored in 23.2 overs losing three wickets.
Pakistani openers went untroubled to 39 before Manzoor, who had scored a half-century in his only ODI against Zimbabwe, was caught behind off Binod. He scored 18 off 20 balls with a four and two sixes.
But his partner Raheel Majeed was in different mood and carried his team up to 23rd over. His 64-ball 60 with 10 fours and a six took PCB Academy six runs short of victory and earned him man of the match award.
He fell to off-spinner Sanjam Regmi. The only other man to fall was Ahmed Shehzad (14) - a wicket for left-arm Shakti Gauchan. Captain Khalid Latif (19 off 24) and Ali Asad took PCB to victory.
'The result does not matter much,' Dias commented. 'What we needed was exposure and this is a good opportunity for players.'
Earlier, openers Paresh Lohani and Mahesh Chhetri gave Nepal an excellent opening partnering 38 runs in eight overs. Mahesh was then judged leg-before off Wahab Riaz and two runs later Paresh edged Sohail Khan, who has played three ODIs for Pakistan, to Sharfaraz Ahmad.
Paresh scored 23 off 30 balls and hit five boundaries. His momentum was carried by Gyanendra Malla, who looked in touch middling shots and finding gaps. Gyanendra got 45 off 51 balls with seven fours and a six pulled at square-leg. His failure in reading Imad Wasim's balls saw his stumps castled.
Before that, Sharad Veswakar, who was making half-hearted shots, and vice-captain Paras Khadka fell on seven. Gyanendra fell on 112 as fifth wicket and remaining five went for 50 more runs with only Mehboon Alam (10) and Basant Regmi (14) reaching double-digit.
'The opening was good, but we failed to capitalize,' Nepal's coach Roy Dias said. 'They are tough competitor.'
Wasim was the most successful bowler taking three while Raiz, Khan and Yasir Shah each walked away with two wickets. Khurram Manzoor took a wicket.
The teams play second one-day game on Friday at the same ground.