Ujjwal Acharya, NepalCricket.com
Paras Khadka played a captain's knock as Nepal made a winning start in the Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 5 defeating Jersey by six wickets at the BSAM Ground.
At BSAM, Paras scored 69 off just 66 balls with nine fours and two sixes as Nepal made an easy inroads after Jersey scored 174 in 44.5 overs.
Coming at 29/2 after both openers - Mehboob Alam (7) and Dipendra Chaudhary (13) were dismissed by Jersey skipper Ryan Driver, Paras first stabilized the innings with Shakti Gauchan before going quick.
Shakti scored 32 off 62 deliveries for a partnership of 68 runs. The pair was slow at the beginning but started going after spinners once they became accustomed with the wickets and bowlings.
Sharad Vesawkar joined Paras to display the form he had been missing for long. Another 65-run partnership, which included brilliant cricket shots, followed.
Paras, who reached his half-century in 53 balls, was bowled around the leg by Benjanmin Stevens while trying to sweep. He was frustrated for not being able to take his team to the victory which was just 13 runs away, but nevertheless it was an innings that ensured the victory.
Sharad pulled Samuel Dewhurst for a six to complete the victory at the completion of 38 overs. Gyanendra Malla remained unbeaten on six.
Earlier, Jersey won the toss and elected to bat first. The opening pacers bowled brilliantly for Nepal - with Mehboob Alam living with his fame with a first-over wicket of former captain Mathew Hague. He gave away just eight runs in his six overs.
Binod Das was a bit expensive giving away 20 but a brilliant diving catch by Gyanendra to end a knock by Jonathan Gough. They bowled tightly giving away just 18 runs, hit without a boundary, off first nine overs.
Opener Deam Morrison and Samuel da la Haye stood firm then after playing the pace and spin brilliantly as Paras went on searching for breakthrough and handed ball from this bowler to that.
The breakthrough finally came in the 24th over when Basant Regmi trapped da la Haye in front. Da la Haye scored 38 off 46 and added 71 with Morrison.
Morrison played a patient knock of 62 off 112 balls and was in an anchor role. He was out eighth. The middle-order failed to cope the spin and some brilliant fielding effort that saw three of the Jersey batsmen run-out.
Off spinner Sanjam Regmi and Shakti got two wickets each while Rahul Kumar BK got one to bowl out the team in 44.5 overs.
“Not batting for 50 overs is a mistake in one-day cricket,” Jersey captain Driver said after the match.
“The wickets here are lot more different than we were used to play,” he added. “It has a lot of turn.”
Driver believed that they took the batting powerplay at the wrong time - 'my mistake of course' - and lauded Nepal's effort.