Tuesday, July 23

Nepal Suffers Defeat in ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifiers Opener against Zimbabwe

By a Staff Reporter

Nepal National Cricket Team had a disappointing start to their ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifiers as they suffered an 8-wicket defeat against the hosts, Zimbabwe.

Invited to bat first at the Harare Sports Ground, Nepal posted 290/8 in their allotted 50 overs before Zimbabwe chased down the target of 291 runs in just 44.1 overs.

Opening with the bat, Khusal Bhurtel and Aasif Sheikh, made history by sharing the highest One Day International (ODI) partnership for Nepal to date, scoring 171 runs together. The previous record of 139 runs was held by Gyanendra Malla and Aasif Sheikh, achieved against Namibia in February for the fall of the second wicket.

Both openers played impressive half-century innings, with Kushal missing out on a century by just one run. He scored 99 runs off 95 deliveries, including 13 fours and 2 sixes, before being bowled out by Wellington Masakadza in 31.5 overs.

On the other side, Aasif Sheikh contributed 66 runs off 100 deliveries with 7 fours before being caught by Ryan Burl off Masakadza’s delivery in the 33.5 overs.

Kushal Malla (41), Rohit Paudel (31), Aarif Sheikh (10), and Gulsan Jha (13) were the other batsmen who reached double figures for the losing side.

While Bhim Sharki departed for a golden duck, Dipendra Singh Airee could only manage 6 runs before being dismissed. Moreover, Karan KC (2) and Sompal Kami (0) remained unbeaten.

Richard Ngarava was the standout bowler for Zimbabwe, claiming 4 wickets for 43 runs in his 9 overs, including 1 maiden over. Wellington Masakadza took two wickets, while Tendai Chatara and Blessing Muzarabani secured a wicket each.

In response, Zimbabwe chased down the target with ease, losing only two wickets and having 35 balls to spare.

Skipper Craig Ervine and Sean Williams played crucial century innings for the hosts, with Ervine scoring the highest individual score of 121 runs, while Williams contributed 102 runs.

Joylord Gumbie, who opened the innings alongside Ervine, scored 25 runs off 29 balls before departing. Ervine remained unbeaten with his impressive knock of 121 runs off 128 deliveries, including 15 fours and 1 six.

The number three batsman Wessly Madhevere scored 32 runs off 38 deliveries with 2 boundaries. Sean Williams then played aggressively, smashing 13 fours and 1 six in his 70-ball innings, reaching 102 runs and sealing the victory for Zimbabwe.

Nepal’s pacers Sompal Kami and Gulsan Jha managed to pick up a wicket each, but their efforts were not enough to prevent Zimbabwe’s dominant batting performance.

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