Nepal cruise to victory, but lack killer instinct
In the end, it did look very easy for Nepal. But it should have been easier, as some odd tactical decisions let Canada more into the game than they had any right to be.
After winning the toss and batting first, Canada got off to a dreadful start as they collapsed to 22-5. Sompal Kami and KC Karan were almost unplayable, with Karan taking four wickets in his initial burst. Once the opening bowlers were taken out of the attack though, Canada slowly - and painfully - got back into the game.
Jimmy Hansra and Hamza Tariq added 20 for the sixth wicket and skipper Hansra put on 24 for the seventh wicket with Nikhil Dutta. These two partnerships took 24 overs, with Hansra scoring at a snails pace. He scored 22 from 103 balls before he was the seventh man out.
Remarkably, it wasn't until the 42nd over that Nepal captain Paras Khadka brought either of his opening bowlers back on, perhaps lacking that killer instinct needed to succeed at higher levels. Karan took another wicket to finish with 5-26 as Canada were bowled out for 114, four balls short of their full quota.
A small total, but allowing the last five wickets to score four times as much as the first five wickets isn't a particularly good display from Nepal. They'd have taken bowling Canada out for 114 before the match, but from 22-5, a bowling attack should be looking to get a team out for under 60.
Nepal then gave their fans an awful fright as openers Subash Khakurel and Naresh Budayair were both dismissed early on in their reply with not a single run on the board. Whilst the old Nepal might have retreated into their shell, perhaps even collapsing, the new Nepal tends to avoid that.
Gyanendra Malla and Paras Khadka proceeded to put on 114 for the third wicket, with Khadka leading the way. The Nepal captain made up for his odd captaincy decisions earlier by scoring 77 from 78 balls before falling with the scores level. Binod Bhandari hit the winning run to complete a seven wicket win.
A big win for Nepal, but it could have been even bigger had they capitalised more successfully on a fantastic start to the match. With the tournament being so close, net run rate is likely to be key at deciding the promotion/relegation spots come Friday's final round of matches, they needed to be a lot more clinical.
Still, a win is a win, and with the Netherlands being defeated by hosts Namibia today, Nepal find themselves in second place. Tomorrow brings a potentially tough contest against Namibia, currently unbeaten in first place. Canada, at the foot of the table, will look to pick up a win against Uganda.