Kenya secure third place after another win over Nepal
After they faced relegation yesterday morning, Kenya will be delighted with the third place finish they've secured after beating Nepal for the second time in as many days.
Batting first after losing the toss, the early part of Kenya's innings saw Narendra Patel take charge, scoring 44 before he was the fourth man out. His wicket came in the middle of three to fall with the score on 69.
Rakep Patel and Nelson Odhiambo got the Kenyan innings back on track, putting on 71 for the sixth wicket before Patel was out for 32. Odhimabo finished as the top scorer, making 48 before he was bowled by Shakti Gauchan. Sompal Kami was the pick of the Nepali bowlers with 4-31 as Kenya made 208-9.
The Nepal innings started in a similar way to how it has throughout the tournament. Openers Sagar Pun and Subash Khakurel were both out cheaply, leaving Paras Khadka to rebuild the innings. It didn't quite work out that way though, as Khadka was caught behind from his first ball.
Instead, Binod Bhandari and Gyanendra Malla set about taking the game the way of their team, putting on 107 for the fourth wicket before Malla was out for 48. Bhandri hung on a little longer to make 73, but from then on it was something of a procession.
Nepal, cruising to victory at 162-4 with 17 overs still to come, were bowled out for 193 to lose by 15 runs. Elijah Otieno was the leading bowler fir the Kenyans, taking 4-45.
Nepal finish fourth then, a somewhat undeserved position given how well they played during the tournament. They go back to Kathmandu knowing that they beat the two promoted teams, and that they can come back and improve further the next time. Paras Khadka, at least, has the consolation of being named player of the tournament.
Kenya will be pleased with how they came back from likely relegation candidates to finish in third place. They're in something of a transition phase, but will certainly have learnt from their experience in this tournament.
For both teams, the next scheduled action will be in the Twenty20 format. Kenya have the African T20 qualifier in Johannesburg at the end of March, from which two teams will progress to the global qualifier in Ireland and Scotland in July. Nepal's next scheduled tournament is that global qualifier.