Nepal and USA claim WCL victories on a rain-affected second day
The two promoted sides in the World Cricket League Division 4 tournament, Nepal and the United States, seized an early advantage on Sunday with comfortable victories over Italy and Tanzania respectively, while conditions at Medicina ensured that for the second day in a row the match there - this time between Argentina and the Cayman Islands - was abandoned without a ball being bowled.
At the Ovale di Rastignano in Pianoro the start was delayed for several hours by further rain, and by the time play was possible the match had been reduced to 40 overs a side. After winning the toss and electing to field Nepal quickly gained the upper hand against their hosts, Binod Das dismissing Andy Northcote in the seventh over.
That began a procession of Italian batsmen to the crease, and the innings lasted just 33.1 overs. Only four batsmen reached double figures, Hemantha Jayasena top-scoring with 16, while Amrit Bhattarai was the most successful of the Nepalese bowlers with three for 8.
But Basant Regmi (two for 6) and Shakti Gauchan (two for 7) were equally effective, and skipper Paras Khadkha was scarcely more expensive with two for 16.
Italy lost opening bowler Alauddin in the first over of the Nepalese reply as he broke down after bowling just three deliveries, but then Gayashan Munasinghe removed Anil Mandal at the other end, and it seemed for a time that Nepal would find the conditions no more congenial than the home side had.
Mahesh Chhetri and Gauchan now shared what would proved the highest partnership of the match - 25 for the second wicket, but although was eventually caught behind with the total on 30 and the Italians went on to claim another three wickets, Nepal eventually reached their target with five wickets in hand and fifteen overs to spare.
The USA, meanwhile, coasted to an even more decisive win at Navile, beating Tanzania by 10 wickets and taking only 77 deliveries to reach their target of 129.
Adrian Gordon got a dream start to his World Cricket League career by removing fellow-debutant Enjo Kiongozi with the first ball he bowled, and when his new-ball partner Timroy Allen dismissed Abhik Patwa in the next over Tanzania, put in to bat by the Americans, were on 3 for two.
Seif Khalifa and Shaheed Dhanani engineered a partial recovery with the stand of 37 for the third wicket, but after Muhammad Ghous had run through the middle order, claiming four for 15 as Tanzania slumped to 63 for eight, it took a rollicking undefeated 49 from Kassim Nassoro, batting at nine, to get the total up past the hundred. Nassoro faced only 37 balls and his five fours and three sixes, dominating a ninth-wicket partnership of 52 with Riziki Kiseto. Gordon finished off the tail for figures of three for 21.
Even so, Tanzania could manage only 128, and the American openers, Sushil Nadkarni and Orlando Baker made short work of the run-chase, Nadkarni hitting no fewer than eight sixes along with three fours in his 31-ball innings of 68 not out. Baker was restrained by comparison, taking 44 deliveries for his undefeated 63, with seven fours and four sixes.