By a Staff Reporter
Kathmandu – Kushal Bhurtel’s heroic performance led Nepal to a historic win over Namibia in ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup League 2 at TU Cricket Ground.
Kushal picked up his maiden ODI century as Nepal defeated Namibia by 2 wickets with 14 balls in spare. Nepal chased the winning target of 286 runs scoring 287/8 in 47.4 overs.
After receiving a huge target, Kushal Bhurtel and Aasif Sheikh opened the innings for Nepal. With Aasif leaving the crease following a duck out, Player of the match Kushal Bhurtel scored 115 runs off 113 deliveries before getting caught by Pikky Ya France off Jan Nicol Loftie-Eaton in 47.2 overs. Kushal smashed 10 fours and 4 sixers to collect the total which included him in the list of players scoring a century in both T20 and ODI after Paras Khadka and Dipendra Singh Airee.
Skipper Rohit Paudel, who stepped in as a fourth batsman after Gyanendra Malla’s wicket fall for 25, contributed the second-highest of 72 runs off 76 deliveries. With this Rohit became the first Nepali player to complete 1000 runs in ODI.
Moreover, Rohit and Kushal shared a 133 runs partnership, which is the highest partnership of Nepal in ODI to date.
While Sandeep Lamichhane got dismissed for a golden duck, Kushal Malla 6, Dipendra Singh Airee 7, and Sundeep Jora added 20 runs to the tally. Karan KC* 20 and Sompal Kami* 4 then shared a crease to win Nepal the match. Sompal came in when Nepal required 3 runs for the victory. He then struck four on the very first ball he faced to complete the winning target.
With Karan KC picking up a 5-wicket-haul, Namibia, who were invited to bat first were restricted to 285 runs in the allocated 50 overs. The century from Michael van Lingen and skipper Gerhard Erasmus’s half-century were gone into the shade as the Namibian bowlers failed to defend against Nepal’s attack.
Despite expending the highest runs of 66, Sandeep Lamichhane, who made his comeback to the National Team after 5 months claimed 3 wickets in 10 overs. In addition, Sompal Kami and Kushal Malla booked one wicket apiece to bowl out Namibia in the final ball of the innings.
Namibian openers Lo-handre Louwrens (5) and Karl Birkenstock (13) found their way back to the dugout early. Michael van Lingen then showed up to smash 133 runs off 137 deliveries with 9 fours and 5 sixes.
Skipper Gerhard Erasmus collected 56 runs off 79 balls whereas Jan Nicol Loftie-Eaton returned to the dugout for 8. With Bernard Scholtz leaving the crease for a golden duck, Jan Frylinck 13, Zane Green 34, Pikky Ya France 2, Ruben Trumpelmann 11, and Tangeni Lungameni* contributed 1 run.