Scotland 153 for 6 (Coetzer 88*, Regmi 2-26) beat Nepal 149 (Khadka 63, Whittingham 3-35) by four wickets.
Nepal’s hope of reaching the ICC World Cup, 2019 was dealt a blow by in form Scotland as they triumph in their third match of ICC World Cup Qualifiers by 4 wickets against Nepal. The damage was done up-top the batting order by the bowlers as Nepal was in complete disarray at 5 for 39 in the 8th over.
Winning the toss, Nepal elected to bat first. Nepal’s evergreen batting problem was seen yet another time, losing half the batsman for a mere 39 runs in the 8th over. Only skipper Paras Khadka managed to reach the double figures. Medium Pacer Stuart Whttingham went right through the Nepalese top order trapping Dilip Nath (4) and Dipendra Singh Airee (1) for Leg before Wicket and hitting the timber of Sharad Vesawkar for a golden duck.
Sompal Kami came to crease with half the wickets down and with absolute will added 42 runs with skipper Khadka before getting run out to an outstanding fielding endeavor from Berrington. His 18 runs innings included 2 fours.
Were it not for a 63 from Paras Khadka with 10 fours, it would have been a thrashing. He was the only standout batsman for Nepal with a dexterity innings on his way to create history by being the first Nepali player to go past 1000 runs in List-A cricket.
Towards the end, Basant Regmi fired 24 runs to post a target of 150 runs. All the bowlers bowled below an economy of 4 except Ritchie Berrington who bowled a single over for 13 runs and a wicket of Aarif Sheikh. Whittingham was the key with 3 wickets while Safyaan Sharif and Alasdair Evans snatched two wickets each to their name.
A silver of hope came when Scotland lost 3 quick wickets for 16 runs; from 1 for 71 to 4 for 87. However, any sort of hope was dismantled by Kyle Coetzer ensuring the chase was completed, remaining not out on 88 runs from 133 balls with 7 fours and 3 over the boundary hits. Nepali bowlers bowled decent but the runs were just not enough to have any chance of winning against high flying Scottish team.
The spin trio of Basant regmi (2), Sandeep Lamichhane (2) and Lalit Rajbanshi (1) kept Scottish batsman at bay with 5 wickets in between them. However, Scotland choose not to take any sort of risk and crippled towards the target slowly, especially Coetzer with his 136 balls persistent innings. Coetzer’s 88 followed by few 10’s from other batsman were enough to register their third win in the tournament.
The win ensured not only a place in the super six round but also ODI status till 2022 for the Scottish side. With 6 points Scotland top the group B, followed by Zimbabwe with 4. Nepal is yet to register any point in the table with 2 losses from 2. Nepal will now take on Hong Kong and Afghanistan in their next two matches of the tournament.