Nepal (Dipendra Singh Airee 50 & 4/14, Sandeep Lmichhane 4/29) 115 for 4 defeat PNG ( Charles Amini 19, Norman Vanua 2/25) 114 all out.
PNG were on a receiving end of another humiliation as a poor display with the bat led to end of their hunt for ODI status in the ICC World Cup Qualifiers. PNG batsman kneeled down to Nepali spinners as they were bolted for a mere 114 runs.
Winning the toss Skipper Paras Khadka elected to bowl first in a must win encounter. The pace department of Nepal gave a good start to Nepalese with 2 wickets of experienced Tony Ura and Assad Vala. Then came the spinners in the match with Sandeep lamichhane and Dipendra Singh Airee snatching 4 wickets each.
Lamichhane was unplayable with his leg break bowling. He steered right through the PNG innings dismissing four top order batsmen; later Airee cleared the tail enders with four quick wickets in his 4.2 over’s spell. Lamichhane, on his way to four wickets yielded only 29 runs in his 9 over’s while Airee gave away only 14 runs.
PNG’s poor form in the tournament continued with none of the batsman crossing the 20 runs mark. Most of them got starts but failed to convert them into anything significant.
Neither did Nepal have best of the start losing 3 wickets for only 35 runs. Gyanendra Malla and Anil Sah failed for cheap early on to Alei Nao and Norman Vanua. They were on massive trouble when they lost the Ace, Paras Khadka for 20 runs while trying to pull a short ball.
But composed Dipendra Singh Airee ensured that Nepal was on course for an ODI status stroking 50 runs with a four and 3 sixes. His partnership of 67 runs with Aarif Sheikh (26) ensured a comfortable win for Nepal in 23 over’s.
For PNG, Norman Vanua took the consolation wickets of Anil Sah and Aarif Sheikh. Nepal will now be hoping for a Netherlands win in the other playoff match between Netherlands and Hong Kong. A win for Netherlands will ensure ODI status to Nepal for four years.