logo of cricketingnepal.com

When Ireland did Nepal in a tale of two comebacks

Oct 10, 2019 | CN Staff |

Nepal narrowly missed out on making history after they succumbed to Ireland by 13 runs in their third match of the Oman Pentangular Twenty20 International Series.

A third back-to-back victory would have given Nepal their first ever win over a Test nation in their 23-year history of official cricket. They already had their one foot in history; comfortably placed at 100-2 inside 15 overs in chase of Ireland's 145-8.

With just 46 more to win from 30 balls and with set Aarif Sheikh and Dipendra Singh Airee at the crease, it all looked a casual walk on the park for Nepal but all they witnessed was a batting meltdown as Ireland replicated the comeback they had seen in their own innings.

After star leg spinner Sandeep Lamichhane removed juggernaut Kevin O'Brien, who came into the game after slamming a solid 62-ball 124 against Hong Kong, experienced campaigners Paul Stirling and Andy Balbirnie kept Nepal at bay with a solid 88-run partnership for the second wicket.

Having scored with a run rate close to nine, Ireland were on course for another huge total after amassing 208 against Hong Kong. Then came leg arm spinner Lalit Narayan Rajbanshi who had Balbirnie stumped for 38 as Ireland's 95-1 read 124-8 with Nepal bowled an fielded exceptionally well.

Had there been no 18-run cameo from Stuart Thompson in the last over from Karan KC, the story could have been different. But Nepal would still fancy a target of 146 at just over seven runs an over. The foundation was perfectly laid when skipper Paras Khadka's positive intent took Nepal to 35 until the end of fourth over.

Nepal did lose both their openers Paras and Ishan Pandey but were still in a driving seat at 100-2. Ireland had seen how Nepal had fought back in their innings and it was time they stage their own. Spinner George Dockrell was Ireland Lalit Narayan Rajbanshi as he perfectly held on to a low catch getting rid of Dipendra Singh Airee.

In a space of four balls, Nepal went on to lose three wickets including a run out of Binod Bhandari and a brilliant caught behind from Gary Wilson to get rid of Aarif in a single over off Mark Adair. The treble dismissal was enough to choke the Nepal's lower middle order which succumbed under pressure of playing big shots.

Sompal Kami and Sundeep Jora both went after Dockrell and gave their wickets in the single over. It was all left on Karan KC when Nepal needed an improbable 25 to win in the final over. Karan, who had smashed 17 runs in the final over against the Dutch in their last match, did get a six and a four in the first two balls and handed a catch at long on to Harry Tector.

Ireland perfectly did Nepal as they fielded superbly to get rid of Nepali batsmen and the bowling attack was right on point once Paras was gone. The match was a tale of two comebacks where Irish weighed heavier. The history eluded Nepal.


{{match.teamAName}} - {{match.teamARun}} / {{ match.teamAFOW}} ( {{match.teamAOver}} / {{match.matchOver}} Overs)


{{match.teamBName}} - {{match.teamBRun}} / {{ match.teamBFOW}} ( {{match.teamBOver}} / {{match.matchOver}} Overs)

Click here for Full Scorecard