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Karan books Nepal World Cup Qualifiers tickets

Feb 14, 2018 | Cricketingnepal |

Karan KC's calm World Cricket League Division 2 burst into life in style as the No 10 batsman stole victory from Canada to put Nepal in next month's ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifiers.

In a match where the team couldn't compromise with less than victory considering its poor run rate, Nepal edged Canada by one wicket in yet another last ball thriller with Karan playing an innings of his life. 

Replying to Canada's 195-8 from 50 overs, the game had all but slipped out of hands from Nepal after they were reduced to 144-9 42.1 overs before Karan did the unthinkable with an innings that was filled with both calmness and aggression. 

Karan dealt Canada bowlers with big shots to keep the run rate within sight. He hit Satsimranjit Dhindsa for a six and a four in the penultimate over that fetched Nepal 13 runs leaving eight to get from the last six. 

Seamer Cecil Pervez gave a perfect start bowling four consecutive dot balls including three yorkers but he smashed the fifth for a six as Nepal needed two from the last ball. Pervez then bowled a wide delivery as the scores ties. 

A single in the last ball saw Nepal steal a spot spot in the 10-team Qualifiers in Zimbabwe where the two finalist will make it to the 2019 World Cup in England.

Karan, who previously had a rather calm Division 2, finished with 42 from 31 balls with four sixes and three boundaries. No 11 Sandeep Lamichhane (five off 18) hung in with Karan in their 51-run last wicket stand.

Nepal had a horrible start after Pervez sent back Gyanendra Malla (nine) and skipper Paras Khadka (duck) in consecutive deliveries soon after he was hit for a six by the Nepali opener. Dilip Nath and Dipendra Singh Airee (18) rebuilt the innings with a 50-run stand but Pervez struck again as Nepal lost three wickets in a space of nine runs. 

Pervez had Dilip caught behind by Hamza Tariq and off break bowler removed new man Sharad Vesawkar (one) and Dipendra. Aarif Sheikh (26) and Rohit Kumar Paudel (27) once again kept Nepal in the game with a 46-run partnership for the sixth wicket but they once again kept losing wickets beginning with the dismissal of the latter.

Sompal Kami (seven) and Basanta Regmi (duck) both fell cheaply but Karan had other ideas. 

Nepal finished at the top of the standings with eight points from four matches and now meet UAE -- who overcame hosts Namibia by 19 runs -- to finish second on better run rate. UAE, Canada and Namibia all were tied on six points each. 

In the match, Canada's total was built around their opener Shrimantha Wijeratne who struck a composed 103 not out from 152 balls pushing his team to a score that was looking a mammoth until Karan's whirlwind struck. 

Tariq was their next best scorer with 24 off 30 with two sixes that came off Sandeep. Wijeratne clobbered eight boundaries. He shared 33 runs for the ninth wicket with Dhindsa (18 not out). 

Basanta took 3-34 from 10 overs, while Sandeep took 2-40 from nine. Sharad and Karan had a wicket each.


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