Canada edge out Nepal
Raza-ur-Rehman scored an 87-ball 89, before Khurram Chohan took four wickets, as Canada registered its first win of the tournament, beating Nepal by 12 runs in a curtailed Group A match at Christchurch, on Tuesday (January 21).
Rehman arrived at the crease, with Canada not having got off to the best of starts, at 54 for 3 after 8.4 overs, after Jimmy Hansra, the captain, won the toss and decided to bat first in the match that was reduced to 41 overs a side. With Gunasekara (13), Trevin Bastiampillai (1) and Hansra (11) back in the hut, Rehman, along with Nitish Kumar, the opener, with whom he put on 84 runs for the fourth wicket, led Canada's fightback.
After Nitish's dismissal – he was caught off Sagar Pun, the off-spinner, for a 59-ball 67 that included five boundaries and two sixes - in the 25th over, Rehman went on to feature in two more partnerships. He first added 22 with Usman Limbada, before joining Hamza Tariq, the wicketkeeper, for a 43-run stand for the sixth wicket. After Rehman was run out, by Prithu Baskota for a well-made 89 off 87 balls, Tariq added 31 more runs with Junaid Siddiqui, before he too was run out, for 34, with Canada on 234 for 7 and two-and-a-half overs remaining.
With the help of some brief, but useful contributions from the tail, Canada's total was boosted to 255 for 9. Sompal Kami was the pick of the bowlers for Nepal, taking 3 for 64 off eight overs, while Basant Regmi's eight fetched him 2 for 51. Shakti Gauchan and Sagar Pun accounted for a wicket each.
Nepal was rocked early in its chase, when Pun was dismissed in the third ball of the innings. Pradeep Airee and Gyanendra Malla then got together for an 83-run stand, until Airee was run out for 26. Following brief partnerships with Paras Khadka (17), the Nepal captain, and Baskota (15) and Sharad Vesawkar (17), Malla was caught behind off Chohan for 86.
The target looked increasingly difficult for Nepal, with 85 still needed off 61 balls and half the side dismissed. Regmi played cameo towards the end but it didn't suffice, as Nepal eventually fell short by 12 runs. He remained unbeaten on 25.
Chohan's 4 for 59 off nine overs made him the pick of Canada's bowlers. Jeremy Gordon, Cecil Pervez and Hansra accounted for a wicket apiece.
The defeat meant that Nepal ended the group stage without a single win. Canada, on the other hand, will look to end the group stage with another win when it faces Scotland in its next match on January 23 at the same venue.