December 2, 2017 02:07 AM NPT
KATHMANDU, Dec 1: Nepali national cricket team faced a five-wicket defeat to the United States of America (USA) in a practice match on Friday.
The Nepali team, which is in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for its last round matches of the ICC World Cricket League Championship (WCLC) against the home team, was invited for batting after losing the toss in Abhu Dhabi.
Nepal was bowled out for a paltry 89 runs in 36.1 overs while the USA reached 94-5 in 22.3 overs.
Nepal failed to make positive start to the innings with openers Dilip Nath and Sagar Pun getting dismissed for just 16 and nine runs respectively.
The Nepali team which was playing without its captain and vice-captain Paras Khadka and Gyanendra Malla, came under further pressure when it lost its two other batsmen - Anil Kumar Sah, Md Arif Sheikh-cheaply. The U-19 team's batsman Sah was out for a duck while Sheikh managed to make only four runs in eight deliveries.
Dipendra Singh Airee was one of the four batsmen to touch double digit figure as the U-19 skipper contributed 24-ball 12.
Sharad Vesawkar, who was captaining the side in the absence of regular skipper Khadka, also had a disappointing day as he was second Nepali player in the match to get dismissed for a duck.
Basant Regmi's 21 runs was the highest score for the Nepali team whereas Sompal Kami added six runs.
Japen Patel was the pick of the USA's bowlers as he claimed 4-8 and was supported by Roy Silva and Nosthush Kenjige who added two wickets each. Likewise, Timil Patel and Adil Bhatti pocketed one wicket each for the winning side.
USA, which is in the middle-east tour to play several practice matches against Gulf nations, made strong start to the innings with its opener Syed Abdullah smashing 44 runs that included three sixes and equal number of fours in 40 deliveries.
Unbeaten Roy Silva contributed 28-ball-25 while Timil Patil contributed seven runs.
Sompal Kami and Sagar Pun claimed two wickets each for the Nepali side.
In its next practice match on Sunday, Nepal will now face Kenya which is also in the UAE for the WCLC matches since all the clashes of last round are going to be held in the Arab nation.
Nepal, which is already relegated to Division 2, will take on home team UAE in its first leg match at Sheikh Zayed Stadium on Wednesday. The second leg match will be also held in the same stadium two days later.
The Netherlands and Papua New Guinea (PNG), who are in the top two positions in the eight-team contest with 18 and 16 points earned from 12 matches each have already qualified for the ICC World Cup Qualifier 2018. Now, the remaining top two places are up for grabs with three nations in contention.
Third, fourth and fifth placed teams Scotland, Hong Kong and Kenya have 15, 14 and 12 points from 12 matches each.
In the final round encounters, PNG will take on Hong Kong while Kenya will face Scotland. Similarly, the Netherlands will take on seventh-placed Namibia.