Members of Nepal national cricket team walk out off the pitch after losing to Zimbabwe in the Singapore Tri-Nation Series match at the Indian Association Ground in Singapore on Tuesday. Photo Courtesy: Raman Shiwakoti
KATHMANDU, Oct 2: Zimbabwe skipper Sean Williams picked up player-of-the-match trophy in a commanding win of 40 runs against Nepal in a Tri-nation T20I Series league match played at the Indian Association Ground in Singapore on Tuesday. Zimbabwe responded strongly to win the match after its first-ever loss against Singapore on Sunday.
Williams registered three wickets in his four-over spell to limit Nepal for 120 runs in the 20 overs after helping Zimbabwe put up 160 in the first innings scoring 53 runs off 35 balls.
With the win, Zimbabwe has jumped at the top position of the group table with four points followed by Nepal and host team Singapore with two points each.
Nepal is second on the table, on better net run-rate than Singapore, after three matches including a win against the home team and twin losses against Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe had defeated Nepal by four wickets in the opening match of the league.
Nepal started horribly losing three wickets for 33 runs including the centurion of last match Paras Khadka for 12 runs. Similarly, Pawan Sarraf didn’t trouble the scorers whereas new number-three Dipendra Singh Airee scored four before being outfoxed by Tendai Chatara.
Binod Bhandari top-scored for Nepal with 33 runs off 35 deliveries including four boundaries. Aarif Sheikh, who was demoted to number four, contributed 25 runs off 20 deliveries which included three boundaries and a six.
Karan KC tried his luck smashing a four and a six off 10 deliveries scoring 18 runs but Nepal lost him and Bhandari in a difference of six deliveries to end Nepal’s challenge.
Debutant Daniel Jakiel, William Mashinge and Ryan Burl shared a wicket each whereas Tinotenda Mutombodzi registered a brace to help Zimbabwe complete a convincing win.
Earlier, Nepal won the toss and elected to bowl first. Ishan Pandey was replaced by U-19 opening batsman Pawan Sarraf. Leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane and fast bowler Sompal Kami shared two wickets each to help Nepal limit Zimbabwe for 160 runs in 20 overs for the loss of six wickets.
Zimbabwe was in early trouble losing three wickets for 38 runs in the fifth over. Lamichhane has dismissed Brian Chari for a duck and clean-bowled Peter Moor who had scored 21 runs off 12 deliveries which included a four and two sixes. Similarly, Kami had clean-bowled Regis Chakabva for six runs off 11 deliveries.
However, Zimbabwe skipper Sean Williams continued his good form scoring 53 runs off 35 deliveries which included four boundaries and three sixes and shared a key partnership of 50 runs with Tinotenda Mutombodzi, who scored 20 runs off 22 deliveries which included two boundaries, to help resurrect the innings.
Kami came back to break the partnership in last delivery of his spell dismissing Mutomodzi whereas Nepal skipper Khadka introduced himself late in the innings to scalp his counterpart.
Ryan Burl remained unbeaten on 28 runs off 21 deliveries to help Zimbabwe reach 160 in the 20th over. Burl boosted the total in a partnership of 44 runs with Richmond Mutumbani who scored 17 runs off 16 deliveries before falling to Avinash Bohora.
Khadka stressed that pitch had turn in the second innings and Nepal didn’t bat well. “We didn’t bat well. Top five should have taken the responsibility to bat till the end. The pitch started to turn a bit as well in the second innings,” said Khadka in the post-match presentation.
Nepal will face Singapore on Wednesday whereas Zimbabwe will take on the home team on Thursday which is the final fixture of the tri-series. The team with the most points at the end of the series will be declared champion.