Skipper Paras Khadka’s choice, appeared to have backfired with Canadian opener Wijeratne ransacked an unbeaten century. However, Karan KC’s blitz brought back from the brink as Nepal sealed a single wicket victory in the ultimate delivery of the match.
At 144 for 9, all looked lost for Nepal; however Karan KC had different thought. Karan and Sandeep added 51 runs off the last 7.5 over to defeat Canada by one wicket. Karan KC was the hero of the Nepali innings, hitting 42 off just 31 deliveries in the chase of 195 runs. His innings contained three boundaries and four huge shots over the boundary rope.
Nepal’s hunt had started poorly, losing Gyanendra Malla for cheap. That was just a start as inform batsman Paras Kadka was sent away for a golden duck in the very next delivery by Cecil Pervez. Dilip Nath and Dipendra Singh Airee tried to keep the pace by assembling a partnership of 50 runs for the third wicket. Dilip nath made a vital 41 runs off 68 balls with 5 boundaries before getting dismissed to Pervez. Then the chain of wickets started tumbling with rain soon arriving in the field too. Nepal was behind by 10 runs in DL par score when rain started at Windhoek. To Nepal’s delight match resumed soon, only to turn the delight into despair they lost the wicket of Rohit Paudel (27 off 42) who was playing sound.
Everything was going as per the plan for Canada till the 42nd over before Karan started firing all over the park. He was well supported by the eleventh man, Lamichanne, knocking singles when required.
Nepal needed 8 runs of the final over. Cecil Parvez started the over vividly bowling four consecutive dot balls. However, the fifth ball was smacked over cover for a six to bring the match to Nepal’s hand. To Canada’s misery Cecil bowled a wide delivery to make the score level anm gave Nepal the chance to secure the top position with just one runs required of the final ball. Karan calmly played the final ball towards midwicket to grant Nepal the berth at ICC World Cup qualifiers, Zimbabwe.
Earlier, Canada’s Wijeratne played a sensational innings to post the highest target against Nepal in the tournament. He made 103 unbeaten in 152 balls with 8 fours. None other player could make a significant contribution with wicketkeeper batsman Tariq being next top scorer. He made 24 off 30 balls with 2 sixes.
Photos : Raman Shiwakoti
For Nepal, Basant Regmi’s elite spin bowling snapped 3 wickets while Lamichane was once more in limelight with 2 wickets. Karan KC and Sharad Vesawkar also took a wicket each. Karan was decided the player of the match for the victorious innings and a wicket.