Saturday, April 13

Nepal misses chance to beat Test-playing nation

Subas Humagain, Muscat

Nepal’s batting woes led to a 16-run defeat to full member Ireland in the final match of the four-nation T20I series despite exceptional bowling in the match held at the Al Amerat Cricket Ground in Oman.

The defeat means Nepal missed a chance to beat a Test-playing nation for the first time. Chasing a modest target of 128 runs for victory, Nepal managed to score 111 runs in 20 overs losing 9 wickets.

Dipendra Singh Airee top scored for Nepal with 28 runs off 30 balls that included a four and a six. Airee also starred with the ball taking 4 wickets to bundle out Ireland cheaply.

Nepal needed 24 runs from the last 12 balls. Nepal’s hopes of meeting the target was effectively ended when Simi Singh forced catch out of Kushal Malla and Kamal Singh Airee in the fourth and fifth ball of the 19th over. Ireland’s Simi Singh, Andy McCarthy, Mark Adaier and Barry McCarthy took two wickets each. Curtis Campher took one wicket in the match.

Earlier, Ireland were all out for just 127 runs in the allotted 20 overs. Ireland’s tailender George Dockrell topscored 28 runs off 22 balls that included two boundaries and a six. Ireland had an early setback losing their opener and main batsman Paul Sterling in the first over. Nepal’s fast bowler Kamal Singh Airee bowled out Sterling with a yorker.

Wickets started stumbling from then onwards as Ireland were dismissed cheaply. Dipendra Singh Airee took  4 wickets followed by Avinash Bohora (2 wickets) while Kamal Singh Airee, Jitendra Mukhiya and Sandeep Lamichanne bagged a wicket each.

Nepal had defeated hosts Oman in their opening match but lost the second match against the UAE by 25 runs. With the loss in final match of the four-nation series, Nepal’s preparation for the T20 World Cup Global Qualifiers ended ona sour note.

Nepal will now play the first match of the qualifiers against Oman on February 18. If Nepal makes it to the final, they will be able to play in the upcoming T20 World Cup to be held in Australia in  October/November.

Nepal are in Group A along with Oman, the Philippines and Canada. Group B includes Ireland, the UAE, Germany and Bahrain.

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