MATTHEW HUMPHREYS and Liam McCarthy bowled Ireland Wolves to an unlikely 21-run victory over Nepal A in Kathmandu in the first of three 50-over matches.

After shading the T20 series 2-1 against the same opposition, the A-team tourists were indebted to a half-century from Cade Carmichael and skipper Neil Rock’s 39 for what appeared a well below par total of 157 all out.

But Humphreys and McCarthy, who had been two of the victims when the Wolves lost their last six wickets for 12 runs, replied in kind, running through Nepal’s top order to reduce the home side from 35-0 to 45-5.

McCarthy, a lively South African-born seamer who plays for Railway Union, removed both openers as his five overs produced figures of 4-29 while left-arm spinner Humphreys, from Belfast, proved an excellent foil.

The 21-year-old, who had a baptism of fire in the second Test match against Sri Lanka in Galle last April, took advantage as Nepal’s gung-ho approach on a tricky pitch continued to deliver wickets.

While the more experienced spinners Ben White and Gareth Delany conceded 25 between them, from two overs each, Humphreys managed three maidens and a tidy 5-32 from a full quota of 10 overs that won him the man-of-the-match award.

The victory was completed in farcical style as Nepal’s last pair collided in mid-pitch allowing Fionn Hand the simplest of run outs to end their innings on 136 in only the 26th over.