Sompal smashes record half-century in Nepal’s nail-biting first ever ODI win

Published On: August 3, 2018 10:30 PM NPT

KATHMANDU, Aug 4: Sompal Kami smashed a scintillating half-century off 38 deliveries to register his first and Nepal’s fastest half-century in ODI cricket to propel Nepal to one run win in the second ODI match against the hosts the Netherlands played at the VRA Cricket Ground, Amstelveen on Friday. Nepal drew the two match series 1-1.

All came down to six runs required off the last over as the Netherlands chased the target of 217 runs. Skipper Paras Khadka took the onus of delivering a calm and composed last over as he ran out Fred Klaassen in the last ball of the match when the Netherlands required two runs to win.

Kami also became highest scorer for Nepal in ODI cricket scoring 61 runs before getting out facing 46 deliveries which included five fours and three sixes. Sandeep Lamichhane helped the cause with completing a three-wicket-haul while defending the total of 217 runs.

Sompal Kami became joint 57th highest scorer at number eight batting position in ODI cricket when he smashed a whirlwind 61 runs from 46 deliveries. His strike rate of 132.60 is the 42nd fastest among the batsmen who achieved that feat. He added 41 runs for the ninth wicket with Sandeep Lamichhane, who did not score a single run in the partnership. He was eventually bowled out by man-of-the-match of first match Michael Rippon.

Similarly, Rohit Kumar Paudel became fourth youngest ODI player ever when he made his debut for Nepal today. He is 15 years and 335 days old when he stepped the field for second ODI match. He shared his debut wicket-keeper batsman Subash Khakurel and left arm pacer Lalit Bhandari. They replaced Shakti Gauchan, Karan KC and injured Sharad Vesawkar from first match.

Defending the target of 217, Kami made an instant impact removing Stephen Myburgh in his first over clean bowled for a two-ball duck. Second wicket came when Paudel pulled on a screamer off a miscued shot from Ben Cooper who was looking good for a long haul batting on 19 runs from 18 deliveries. Lalit Bhandari claimed the wicket.

However, the best partnership for the Netherlands followed the second wicket between Wesley Barresi and Daniel ter Braak. Barresi went on to make the top score of the match with 71 runs to his name facing 89 deliveries which included eight fours. Similarly, ter Braak made patient 39 runs including two fours before being the first victim of a double-wicket salvo from Sandeep Lamichhane removing him in the 29th over to break the threatening partnership. Lamichhane dismissed Bas de Leede for two-ball duck in the same over to bring Nepal in the match. Basant Regmi then induced an outside edge of Michael Rippon to tighten the screws on the Netherlands innings. Skipper Khadka completed the catch at the first slip. However, the big wicket of the chase came through Dipendra Singh Airee’s part-time off-spin just after the second drinks break. Barresi was given LBW on 71. The Dutch were on 143 runs for the loss of six wickets at the end of 36th over.

Bhandari, Khadka and Lamichhane all three came back for their second spell to pick a wicket each to reduce the Netherlands to 185 runs for the loss of nine wickets in the 44th over. 

Earlier, Nepal won the toss and elected to bat first in a fresh strip used at VRA. Nepal made three changes in the playing XI with Khakurel, Bhandari and Paudel coming in for Gauchan, KC and injured Vesawkar.

The Netherlands left-arm pace bowler Fred Klaassen made early inroads as Nepal was reduced to 47 runs for the loss of three wickets in the 12th over despite being 29 for no loss at the start of eighth over. Gyanendra Malla and new opening batsman Subash Khakurel, replacing Shakti Gauchan in the playing XI and Anil Sah in the opening position, made a cautious start before losing their wickets for 13 and 19 runs respectively. 

Malla faced 24 deliveries and scored two boundaries before handing a regulation catch at first slip where Wesley Barresi made no mistakes. Malla had only become first Nepali batsman ever to score a half-century in ODIs in last match. Similarly, making his comeback in the national team after three years of hiatus, Khakurel was outdone by another inswinging Klaassen in the 33rd delivery he faced. Demoted to number three, Sah could only manage a four before losing his wicket off a poor shot. Klaassen picked up all three wickets.

Nepal skipper Khadka made 51 runs in 69 deliveries including six boundaries and two sixes to keep the scoreboard ticking but was disrupted by Dipendra Airee’s ball-watching as the later was run-out for fluent 19 runs from 17 deliveries which included three boundaries. Similarly, the fourth youngest ODI player ever, Rohit Paudel also couldn’t add much to the total as Nepal batting was losing its way at six wickets for 135 runs at the end of 31 overs. 23 runs later, Nepal further lost Aarif Sheikh’s wicket at his personal score of 16 runs from 46 deliveries. From there, a Sompal Kami special followed taking Nepal’s score to 216 in the 49th over. Lalit Bhandari remained not out on four runs.

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