Aarif, bowlers power Nepal to commanding win despite batting failure

Published On: August 23, 2018 09:10 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Aug 23: An opening burst of three wickets by Sompal Kami followed by Basant Regmi’s three-wicket haul has helped Nepal wrap up the first practice match against Lankan Army Cricket Club by 67 runs at Pangonda on Wednesday. Earlier, Aarif Shiekh’s 89 from 118 balls had propelled Nepal score 194 losing all wickets before dismissing the Army team for 127 runs to seal the win.

Defending the total of 195 runs, Kami removed both the openers, Pawan Edirisinghe and Pradeep Rathnayaka, before following up with the wicket of Ajith Rajapakhsa to provide early and decisive dents to Army’s chase. The host team was reduced to 35 runs for three wickets. They were struggling to recover, but veteran left arm spinner Regmi ran through the middle order picking up three wickets in his 7.1 over spell to bundle out Army for 127 runs in the 36.1 overs. 

Young left arm spinner Lalit Rajbanshi and left arm pacer Lalit Bhandari chipped in with a wicket each whereas part-time off-spinner Dipendra Singh Airee bowled an economical spell of five overs conceding eight runs and picking up the wicket of Madhusan Fernando. Jagath Rajapaksha top-scored for Army team, scoring 46 runs facing 60 deliveries including four boundaries and a six.

Earlier, Nepal won the toss and elected to bat first. The regular skipper Paras Khadka rested for the day with captaincy duties going to Gyanendra Malla. Sagar Pun and Karan KC were excluded from the playing XI whereas Sandeep Lamichhane was unavailable for selection due to his commitments in Caribbean Premier League for St Kitts and Nevis Patriots.

Aarif top-scored for Nepal with 89 runs that included five boundaries and four sixes. The next highest score for Nepal was 21 runs by Gyanendra Malla in top of the innings. Nepal was reeling at 91 runs for the loss of seven wickets at one stage before Aarif shared a partnership of 29 runs with Regmi and 52 runs with Lalit Bhandari to take Nepal’s score to a respectable total of 194 runs in 48.4 overs. He was the last Nepali wicket to fall on the day. 

Kami, Airee and Anil Kumar Sah were dismissed for identical three-ball ducks whereas Subash Khakurel scored 10 runs and returning batsman Binod Bhandari made 16 runs off 28 balls before being stumped off Jagath Rajapaksha. Madhusan Fernando of Army completed a three-wicket haul whereas Sanjeev Kumaraswamy and Jagath Rajapaksha chipped in with two wickets each.

Nepal is in Sri Lanka to prepare for the upcoming Asian Cup Qualifiers in Malaysia starting on August 29. Nepal will play against Bloomfield on Friday in their second practice match and wrap up the tour against Colts Cricket Club on Sunday before heading to Malaysia.

Nepal practice tour to Sri Lanka 2018, Nepal Vs Army Cricket Team at Panagoda
Nepal (Toss) 194/10 in 48.4 Overs
Aarif 89, Malla 21, Fernando 34/3
Army Cricket Team 127/10 in 36.1 Overs
Jagath 46, Regmi 20/3, Kami 31/3
Nepal won by 67 Runs


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