Nepal join Canada out in front after another thriller
Those following Nepal in Division 2 of the World Cricket League have possible worn their fingernails down to the bone in the last few days. After a last over thriller against the UAE on the opening day, today's match against Kenya went right down to the last ball with all three results still possible.
Kenya batted first after Paras Khadka put them in, and started well with a 65 run opening partnership between Irfan Karim and Alex Obanda. That partnership ended when Obanda was out for 41, whilst Karim batted on to score 42 before he was the third man out.
Karim's dismissal was followed by two more in the next over and Kenya found themselves on the back foot at 104-5. Collins Obuya was the next highest scorer with 27, whilst an unbroken ninth wicket partnership of 38 in the last five overs let them post 177-8. Sandeep Lamichhane starred again with the ball by taking 5-20, the best haul for Nepal in List A cricket.
It's the sort of target that Nepal's often volatile batting line-up can struggle to chase, and it looked like that was again the case when the first three Nepal wickets had fallen with just 14 runs on the board. Again it fell to Paras Khadka to get his team back into the game, and he did so with a knock of 42 from 44 balls before he was the fourth man out with the score on 69.
Sharad Vesawkar was next out with the score on 82 in the 24th over, and things were looking bleak for Nepal. But 20 year old Aarif Sheikh and 15 year old Rohit Kumar showed experience beyond their years by getting Nepal right back into the game with a substantial sixth wicket partnership.
With nine needed from the last two overs, the 87 run partnership suddenly came to an end from the second ball of the penultimate over when Sheikh was out for 42. Three runs from the last four overs meant that just six were needed from the final over.
Kumar took three from the first two balls of the final over, with Sompal Kami getting him back on strike for the fourth ball. Two runs needed from three and Kami called Kumar through for a quick single which was never likely and he was run out by some distance having scored 47.
Kami played out a dot from the penultimate ball before a misfield from the final ball enabled him to score the required two from the last ball to secure a thrilling three wicket win.
At the United Club Ground, Canada won the toss and put hosts Namibia into bat. The home side was able to score 268-8 from their 50 overs, Craig Williams top scoring with 82, Gerhard Erasmus also contributing again with 66 from 64 balls.
Canada scored 251-8 in reply to lose by 18 runs, JJ Smit and Jan Frylinck both taking three wickets for the hosts.
At Affies Park, the UAE became the first team to choose to bat first in the tournament, and it looked to be a bad idea when they could only manage 159 - Ghulam Shabber contributing 63 of them - before they were bowled out. Khawar Ali was the pick of Oman's bowlers with 3-15.
Jatinder Singh top scored for the first part of Oman's reply with 51, and when he fell as the fifth wicket Oman had scored 101, and were looking set for a win. But from 112-5, they contrived to lose their last five wickets for just one run and lost by 46 runs.
Most teams have a rest day tomorrow, but not Namibia and Kenya who will have a third attempt at their second round fixture.