MCC XI vs Nepal: Nepal win despite Aider ton

Sagar Pun Celebrating after taking a wicket

Nepal 217-8 ( Malla 39 Khadka 30 Barrett 2-35 Dutch 2-36) beat Marylebone Cricket Club 176 all out (Aider 100 Pun 3-35 Regmi 3-37) by 41 runs. Full scorecard.

Nepal national team executed an all-round team effort to overcome a great ton from opener George Aider to beat Marylebone Cricket Club by 41 runs here in Lords on a match organized to commomerate 200 years of bilateral relationship between Nepal and United Kingdom.

It was an ocassion and it definitely started as one. The melody of Naumati Baja (a traditional musical instrument) echoed around the iconic ground as Lords looked set to have its Nepal day. And once Nepal made a positive decison to bat first, opener Gyanendra Malla did not let the melody go out of the ground. Exquisite square cuts and gorgeous flicks soon started to capture the imagination of many not least the British nationals present in the stadium and commentry box. The other opener, Anil Mandal, though went cheaply after making just 2 runs. Vesawakar joined Malla in the crease and he seemed to match Malla stroke for stroke in what turned out to be the most enterprising phase of the match.

Vesawakar hit five glorious boundaries on his way to 27 before he fell to the MCC skipper Keith as he completed a simple return catch. Paras Khadka or as the commentator said ” Sachin Tendulkar of Nepal” then hit two boundaries and a glorious six to send the partisan crowd into ruptures. At 2 for 104 with a run rate approaching 5 and two most experienced batsmen on the crease, Nepal was looking good for a huge total. However, as the pitch slowed down and spinners started finding their mojo, things got tigher for Nepal. Both the set batsmen went in quick succession as Nepal lost two wickets for the next 5 runs. Thereafter Nepal never seemed to find any fluency in their batting and it was mainly a long hard toil in the middle as useful 20s from wicketkeeper batsmen Raju Rijal, allrounder Sagar Pun and bowlers Sompal Kami and Basant Regmi that helped Nepal reach 218 for 7 in 50 overs.

Lord’s once against got to enjoy some Nepali flavour in the interval as Band of Brigade of Gurkhas performed for 25 minutes. Once the entertainment was over and serious business commenced, the rather tasty looking contest started with some old-fashioned one day cricket. Openers George Aider and Steve Clark seemed quite intent to see off the new ball as score read 28 for 0 after 10 overs. Shakti Gauchan bowled Stuart Clark to give Nepal its first wicket. Then Sagar Pun, the man who can do anything ranging from nothing to everything, took three wickets in quick sucession as the MCC inning went into a shell.
At 72-4 with a run rate of only 3, MCC was searching for a hero and opener Aider, who had witnessed the chaos from the other end, turned out to be the one. Wickets kept tumbling at other end but he kept on hitting boundaries on will. He scored a majestic hundred of 123 balls courtesy 8 fours and 3 sixes on a day where the second best score from either side was 39. He fell to Basanta Regmi as eighth wicket soon after scoring his hundred. With Basant Regmi uprooting the stump of the last batsmen Sennick to complete his three wicket haul for the match, Nepal emerged as deserved winners of the match. It did look lot closer at times but 41 runs difference was perhaps a justified result at the end.

With this victory, Nepal complete a clean sweep of all five matches they played in UK tour. Nepal will now take on the Netherlands on the fourth round fixtures of World Cricket League Championship next month.

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A serious guy who makes silly points. Also a cricket tragic whose only on-field achievement is witnessing 6 runs as byes in a single ball.