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All round Nepal scamper to victory

Som Pal Kami and Sagar Pun took four wickets each and Anil Mandal smashed 99 as Nepal defeated Canterbury Selection-XI by eight wickets in their first practice match of the New Zealand tour ahead of the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifiers on Thursday. 


Electing to field first, Nepal restricted Canterbury to 204 all out in 49.2 overs. Batsmen then made merry at the pitch in reply as Nepal finished at 207-2 in 33.2 overs. Opener Anil remained unbeaten on 99 off 93 for Nepal with nine boundaries and three sixes. 


Anil and his opening partner Subash Khakurel gave Nepal a perfect start in the chase with a 60-run partnership for the first wicket. Subash made 31 off 42 with five hits to the fence.


A match-winning partnership then came in the second wicket when Anil and vice-captain Gyanendra Malla were involved in a 157-run stand for the second wicket as Nepal made short work of the hosts. Gyanendra made 51 off 64 with four fours and two maximum.


Anil took Nepal easily home with a winning six and fell just one short of his century. Skipper Paras Khadka was five not out when Nepal won the match. 


Earlier, Nepal had to wait for the first breakthrough after Canterbury openers Joel Abraham (16) and Simon Keen added 65 runs for the first wicket. Sagar Pun opened the flood gates dismissing Abraham and then went to pick up three more wickets including that of Keen and Som Pal had one as Canterbury were reduced to 95-5 in 29.1 overs. 


Keen made 47 from 53 with six hits to the fence. Jeff Case and Hugh Paterson (16) rebuilt Canterbury innings with 53-run stand before Som Pal ended the resistance with the dismissal of the later. 


Canterbury hardly managed to cross the 200-run mark with Case rescuing them from a collapse making 88 off 95 with eight boundaries and three sixes. Case fell prey to Som Pal in the 48th over. 


Som Pal returned with the figures of 4-39 in 9.3 overs, while Sagar was economical either in his 4-26 from nine overs. Basanta Regmi took 2-37. 


Nepal will play three more practice matches against the same side before heading into their first official warm-up match against Kenya followed by a Nambia fixture. Nepal begin their Qualifiers campaign with Group ‘A’ game against the UAE on January 13.

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