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Zimbabwe school Nepal in flat batting surface

Mar 04, 2018 | Cricketingnepal |
Zimbabwe schooled Nepal with brutal hitting on a flat batting surface as Nepal lost their first Group 'B' match of the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifiers at the Queen's Sports Club in Bulawayo on Sunday

Electing to bat first, Zimbabwe knew what they needed to do and targeted all Nepali bowlers to put up a mammoth 380-6 in 50 overs. Sikandar Raza exploded with a whirlwind ton and Brandon Taylor produced a class act as Zimbabwe rode on twin centuries from their best batsmen to leave Nepali bowlers clueless.

Nepal, who were hit for the highest score in international cricket, lacked power hitting and were restricted to 264-8 in 50 overs. Sharad Vesawkar and Aaris Sheikh scored half centuries for Nepal, while skipper Paras Khadka played with intent before losing his wicket. 

Sharad top scored with 52 from 48 balls with six boundaries and a six. Aarif got his first List 'A' half century making 50 from 59 balls. Paras hit 40 off 37 balls with eight boundaries. Gyanendra Malla (32), Rohit Kumar Paudel (30) and Dipendra Singh Airee (23) were also amongst runs but a big total was never going to trouble Zimbabwe. 

Man-of-the-match Raza took 3-48 from 10 overs, while Brian Vitori took two wickets. 

Earlier, Raza plundered nine sixes and seven boundaries to score 123 off just 66 balls and Taylor notched up 100 off 91 balls as Zimbabwe condemned all Nepali bowlers to their worst bowling figures in List 'A' cricket.

Pace bowler Sompal Kami was mainly at the receiving end after he was hit for 82 runs in eight overs. Sompal was hit for six sixes and four boundaries before he removed both the centurions in consecutive deliveries in the 49th over. 

Taylor and Raza built on an imposing start provided by Cephas Zhuwao and Solomon Mire who helped the team cross triple figures inside 12 overs. Zhuwao was particularly aggressive smashing four sixes and three boundaries in his 23-ball 41. 

Sandeep Lamichhane trapped Zhuwao leg before in the eight over which was also a maiden. Basanta Regmi removed Hamilton Masakadza (17) cheaply with a return catch. Regmi also accounted for the wicket of Mire after the opener struck 52 off 41 with five fours and three sixes. 

At one stage, Nepal looked like stemming the run flow reducing Zimbabwe to 113-3. Things could have been under their control despite Taylor and Craig Ervine (34) combining for more than run-a-ball 87-run partnership.

But once Raza began to cut loose, Nepali bowling was left in disarray. Paras was wicketless in his five overs bleeding 57 runs and Basanta took 2-69 from 10 overs. Sandeep was hit for 64 runs in nine overs, while Lalit Narayan Rajbanshi was the most economical with figures of 1-62 from 10 overs.


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