After losing to Ireland in the match for seventh place, Nepal finished the ICC World Cup Qualifiers tournament in eighth place. Nepal had also secured the eighth position in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers. Meanwhile, Ireland secured their seventh-place ranking with this victory.
The encounter between Nepal and Ireland took place at Takashinga Sports Club in Harare. Ireland managed to chase down the target of 269 runs, reaching it with 8 wickets lost and 49.2 overs bowled. Although Nepal missed the chance to create history by defeating the Test nation of Ireland, they put up a valiant effort.
Ireland faced a shaky start in their pursuit of the target. Opener Andy McBrine was dismissed for 17 runs, followed by captain Andy Balbirnie, who fell after contributing just 1 run. Paul Stirling and Harry Tector formed a partnership of 37 runs for the third wicket. Stirling departed in the twelfth over after scoring 15 runs. Tector continued to build momentum alongside Lorcan Tucker, adding 58 runs for the fourth wicket. However, Tucker innings was cut short at 24 runs in the 23rd over . Tector, who scored 60 runs, was caught out by Sandeep Lamichhane in the 26th over and Nepal dominated the game. Ireland reached 134/5.
Curtis Campher then teamed up with George Dockrell, forging an 84-run partnership for the sixth wicket and pushing Ireland’s total beyond 200. Campher scored an impressive 62 runs before being caught by Karan KC in the 41st over. Dockrell, who contributed 33 runs, was caught out by Kishore Mahato in the 45th over. From the challenging situation of 238/7, Gerath Delaney and Mark Adair managed to put together 26 runs for the eighth wicket, steering Ireland towards victory.
However, on the fifth ball of the 49th over, Karan dismissed Mark Adair, who had scored 18 runs, reviving Nepal’s hopes.
In the last over, with only 2 wickets remaining, Ireland required 5 runs to secure the win. Barry McCarthy struck a boundary off the second ball of the over, delivered by Gulsan Jha, sealing the victory for Ireland. McCarthy finished unbeaten on 4 runs, while Delaney remained not out on 16 runs.
In Nepal’s bowling attack, Karan KC stood out by claiming the highest number of wickets, taking 4 wickets at an expense of 58 runs in his 10 overs, including 1 maiden over. Kishore Mahato, playing in his second one-day international, secured 2 wickets for 55 runs in 10 overs. Sandeep Lamichhane picked up 1 wicket for 42 runs in his 10 overs, while Gulsan Jha took 1 wicket for 42 runs in 9.2 overs.
Having lost the toss in Harare, Nepal was asked to bat first and posted a total of 268 runs for the loss of 9 wickets in their allocated 50 overs.
Gulsan Jha emerged as Nepal’s top scorer with an unbeaten 57 runs, smashing 4 fours and 3 sixes in 42 balls. Opener Arjun Saud contributed 48 runs from 84 balls, while Kushal Malla scored a quickfire 44 runs off just 38 balls. Sandeep Lamichhane made a valuable contribution of 32 runs, followed by Rohit Poudel with 29 runs and Bhim Sharki with 20 runs. Kushal Bhurtel managed 8 runs, while Gyanendra Malla added 7 runs to the team’s score.Dipendra Airee could’nt open his account.
Gulsan Jha and Sandeep Lamichhane Smash Partnership Record in ODIs
Nepalese cricketers Gulsan Jha and Sandeep Lamichhane have achieved a remarkable feat by setting a new partnership record in One Day Internationals (ODIs). Their partnership of 80 runs for the eighth wicket during the ongoing ODI World Cup qualifier against Ireland in Zimbabwe has become the highest for Nepal in this position.
The previous record was held by Sandeep Lamichhane and Dipendra Airee, who had set a partnership of 79 runs just two days ago in a match against the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It is worth noting that Sandeep’s name is also associated with the third-highest partnership for the eighth wicket, having shared an unbeaten 77-run partnership with Aasif Sheikh against Papua New Guinea earlier this year in the World Cup League-2 match.
Nepal managed to score a total of 169 runs losing their seventh wicket, Kushal Malla, along the way. It was then that Gulsan and Sandeep joined forces and formed an exceptional partnership. Sandeep played a quick innings, scoring 32 runs off 30 balls, which included three fours and a six before being dismissed in the 49th over. Gulsan, on the other hand, remained unbeaten, contributing an impressive 57 runs to the team’s total. His innings consisted of four fours and three sixes.
What makes Gulsan’s achievement even more noteworthy is that his score of 57 not only becomes the highest by a Nepalese batsman at the number nine position in ODIs, but also first half-century in this position. He has surpassed Sandeep Lamichhane’s previous record of an unbeaten 35 runs at number nine, which he achieved against Papua New Guinea earlier this year.
Thanks to the formidable partnership between Gulsan and Sandeep, Nepal managed to reach a respectable total of 268 runs for the loss of nine wickets in their allotted 50 overs. As a result, they have set a challenging target of 269 runs for Ireland. The outcome of this crucial match will determine which team claims the seventh position in the World Cup qualifiers.