Top three win again in Kathmandu
The top three sides in Division 5 of the World Cricket League all won again on Tuesday, but two of them survived serious shocks before soing so, only hosts Nepal enjoying a comparatively comfortable patch to victory.
Undefeated USA were rocked by Jersey on a foggy morning in Kathmandu, Matthew Hague bowling Sushil Nadkarni and skipper Ryan Driver then claiming three more wickets as the Americans slumped to 30 for four.
Driver again used the tactic of bowling himself and Hague through the first twenty overs, but once they had finished their spells, Driver ending with three for 25, the pressure on the batsmen, and a stand of 118 for the fifth wicket between Carl Wright and Aditya Thyagarajan enabled the USA to post a solid total.
Wright was eventually trapped leg-before by Ben Stevens for 76, made from 120 balls with seven fours and a six, but Thyagarajan and Rashard Marshall added another 80 in the closing overs, Marshall hitting five sixes in a 21-ball innings of 42. Thyagarajan finished on 83 not out, made from 82 deliveries, also with seven fours and a six, and the USA total was 253 for six.
Jersey never looked likely to achieve a scoring rate of better than five an over, Dean Morrison and Peter Gough needing 16 overs for a second-wicket stand of 52. The middle order tried to push things along, Sam de la Haye making 36 from 32 balls and Andy Dewhurst 34 from 32, while Driver anchored the innings with 29 from 52.
But wickets kept falling, Lennox Cush (four for 37) and Saurabh Verma (three for 19) collecting seven between them, and Jersey could come no closer than 187 for nine.
Fiji again showed clear signs of improvement against Singapore at the Engineering Campus Ground, although their total of 194 owed a good deal to a last-wicket stand of 49 between Sakaraia Lomani and Viliame Yabaki. Earlier, Sekove Ravoka (32) and skipper Josefa Rika (30) had given them a solid start, but Prambodh Raja, who had claimed a first wicket in the second over of the morning, came back to pick up three more as Fiji slumped from 91 for two to 148 for nine.
Then Lomani and Yabaki held up the Singapore bowlers for ten overs, and the Fijians finished with a total that their attack could defend.
They did so to such purpose, Lomani claiming three for 33, that Singapore were in real danger of defeat at 106 for seven after 28 overs. But captain Munish Arora was still there, and he steered his side home almost single-handed, making an undefeated 94 from 133 deliveries with 12 fours and a six, as the Singaporeans won with 14 balls to spare.
The fog delayed the start by an hour and a half at the Army School in Bhaktapur, and the match between Nepal and Bahrain was reduced to 47 overs a side. The hosts needed less than 43 overs, however, to dismiss the Bahrainis for 114, with Basanta Regmi taking four for 11 with his left-arm medium pacers and off-spinner Sanjam Regmi three for 18.
They then knocked off the runs in just 22.5 overs for the loss of two wickets, with Paras Khadka again in dominant form with 71 not out, made from 74 balls with nine fours and three sixes.
The big game on Wednesday is that between the USA and Singapore at the Engineering Campus, which Singapore must win if they are to mount a serious challenge for promotion to Division 4. Nepal meet Fiji at Tribhuvan University, while Jersey play Bahrain in a key relegation battle.