With Asif Sheikh’s first ODI century and the spinners’ excellent bowling performance, Nepal won the first match of the final series under the ICC Cricket World Cup League Two.
On Thursday, Nepal defeated Papua New Guinea PNG by a wide margin of 52 runs at the Trivial Cricket Ground, Kirtpur. After losing the toss and batting first, with the help of Asif’s 110 runs, Nepal lost all wickets in 49.1 overs and made the highest score of 297 runs in ODIs so far. Chasing a target of 298 runs, PNG were bowled out for 245 runs in 47.1 overs. Nepal’s spinners Sandeep Lamichhane, Dipendra Singh Airi and Kushal Malla combined to take wickets to bowl out PNG. PNG’s fast bowler took 9 wickets in Nepal’s innings.
For Nepal, Sandeep Lamichhane took 4 wickets by spending 37 runs keeping 1 maiden in 10 overs. Dipendra took 2 wickets for 36 runs in 9.1 overs. Kushal Malla, who bowled the entire 10 overs, took 1 wicket for 60 runs. Captain Rohit also bowled 9 overs and spent only 31 runs.
Earlier, while making Nepal’s highest score of 297 runs, opener Asif played 110 balls and scored 110 runs with the help of 12 fours and 2 sixes. Another opener Kushal Bhurtel scored 45 runs. Bhim Sarki added 44 runs.
After the win, Nepal has 34 points from 33 games and is in fifth place in League Two. Nepal now needs a win to save the ODI recognition. If they win the remaining three matches of the series, Nepal will reach the top three and qualify for the World Cup qualifiers to be held in Zimbabwe in June-July.