Six-wickets victory for Nepal as the USA push them all the way
Nepal were made to work hard but eventually overcame the USA, recording a six-wickets victory in the second Group A match of the day at Stormont.
The USA, having won the toss and chosen to bat first, had made a bright start: Fahad Babar (23 from 15 deliviers) and Akeem Dodson (39 from 33 deliveries) both struck the ball cleanly and the American had reached 49-1 at the end of the power play.
The Nepalese spinners, however, turned the match on its head in the middle period of the innings: Shakti Gauchan returned figures of 3 for 16 in his four overs (enough to earn him the prize for man of the match), while Basant Regmi claimed 3 for 24.
Though Karan Ganesh (15) and Adil Bhatti (14) tried to regain some momentum, only 48 runs came in the second half of the innings and the Americans were eventually dismissed for 121 off the last ball.
Sompal Kami was the pick of the Nepalese seamers, taking 2 for 22 in his four overs.
In reply the Nepalese made sedate but serene progress, reaching 54 at half-way for the loss of Sagar Pun, who had been bowled by the impressive medium-pacer Jasdeep Singh.
The second wicket partnership between Anil Mandal and Gynanendra Malla then grew apace until Mandal (29) holed out to deep mid-wicket with the score on 84.
Malla fell shortly afterwards, lbw to Singh for an excellent 52 from 43 balls, but there was never enough scoreboard pressure for the Nepalese to truly worry.
Adil Bhatti was handed the responsibility of bowling the last over, from which eight runs were needed, and when the Nepalese captain Paras Khadka drove the first two balls through extra cover the contest was effectively over.
The winning run came via a scampered leg-bye off the fourth ball of the last over.
Nepal take on Namibia at Stormont tomorrow afternoon, while the Americans must wait until Sunday morning for their next match, against Ireland at the same venue.