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Nepal left stunned by PNG's sensibility

Nov 18, 2015 | Eddie Van Brooks |

Papua New Guinea (PNG) lower middle order displayed a pure example of sensible batting snatching victory from Nepal from their hand in a three-wicket victory to win their second round of ICC World Cricket League Championship (WCLC) match 2-0 in Abu Dhabi.

After making an insecure 224-8 from 50 overs, Nepal went to the threshold of their maiden victory of the tournament reducing PNG to 141-7 before Jack Vare staged a remarkable comeback leading his side to 225-7 in 49.4 overs.

PNG had a quick start and they were quite ahead on net run rate despite three wickets from Sompal Kami, two from Basanta Regmi and one each from Shakti Gauchan and Sagar Pun pushed them close to defeat. Sese Bau (36), Tony Ura (24) and Assad Vala (18) were some key contributors but that was not enough to save them from being in a precarious position.

While all the PNG batsmen were throwing their bat at everything that came their way, Vare was calm. His first boundary came in the 74th ball of the innings that he faced but he had already done the job for the team.

In his 84-run match winning unbeaten partnership with John Reva, Vare began very cautiously rarely showing any signs of aggression before hitting ball the long way when his team was just 34 runs away from victory. Vare made 76 off 90 hitting three boundaries and Reva chipped in 31 off 45 with just one hit to the fence.

Earlier, Nepal were left stunned by duck dismissals of openers Anil Mandal and Subash Khakurel who both fell to Norman Vanua in the first over.

Sagar Pun and Gyanendra Malla rebuilt the innings but through a 66-run partnership that was painstaking. Gyanendra was playing superbly before departing for 36 off 52 that included five hits to the fence.

Sagar's stay at the crease was more frustrating as he rarely middle the ball making 47 off 92 with just one boundary, which came off a drop chance early in the innings. After Sagar fell, skipper Paras Khadka and Sharad Vesawkar shared a 60-run partnership that helped Nepal go beyond 200-run mark.

Paras made 58 off 81 with five boundaries, while Sharad's 45-ball 42 including one four. Mehboob Alam was unbeaten on 15 off seven. Vanua took 3-49 and Vala had the figures of 3-36.


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