Gyanendra Malla made his maiden century as Nepal hammered Singapore by 190 runs in the ICC World Cricket League Division-III in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Sunday.
At the Selangor Turf Club, Malla smashed 114 off 125 as Nepal reached 263-9 in 50 overs. Som Pal Kami and Basanta Regmi then picked up four wickets each as Singapore were bundled out for just 73 runs in 21.4 overs.
The crushing victory gave Nepal a sound run rate of 2.414 that could be useful in the latter stages of the tournament. Nepal are second in the points table with four points from two three games and if they win their rest of the matches against Malaysia and USA, they will cruise to the final and gain promotion to Division-II.
Even if they lose any one game out of the remaining two, run rate could be crucial for Nepal. Uganda lead the points table with six points from three matches. USA, Malaysia, Bermuda and Singapore have lost two games each.
The day belonged to Nepal’s long time No 3 batsman Gyanendra Malla who has often been hailed as team’s technically best batsman but failed to build on big scores. He just fell one short of Nepal’s all time highest individual scorer Subash Khakurel’s 115 which he made against the United States of America in Division-IV tournament in Malaysia in 2012.
Gyanendra surpassed his previous best score of 86, made against Canada during the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifiers in New Zealand earlier this year. Sunday’s century sees him remove the failure tag been labeled on him.
Nepal were hit hard when Amjad Mahboob removed Subash Khakurel (naught) in the second ball of the day. Gyanendra and Naresh Budhayer then anchored the innings with a 73-run stand. Naresh was dismissed for 29 off 59 balls hitting three boundaries.
Skipper Paras Khadka (14) lost his wicket cheaply before Gyanendra and Sharad Vesawkar stiched together a match-winning 92-run stand. The two batsmen first kept Singapore spin attack at bay and collected just 27 runs from 25 to 35 overs.
Gyanendra then switched to attacking gears smashing Abhiraj Singh for a six followed by three consecutive boundaries. Runs kept on flowing as Sharad too started playing his shots before he left the field due to injury in the over where Gyanendra brought up the seventh century by a Nepali batsman in international cricket.
Gyanendra played Singapore skipper Saad Khan Januza for a single to score the elusive century in 116 balls. Gyanendra’s innings finally came to an end while upping the ante against Mulew Dharmichand. Basanta Regmi (21 off 15), Sagar Pun (21 not out off 13) and Binod Bhandari (eight) played little cameos to lift Nepal’s total. Mahboob picked up 4-47, while Dharmichand took 3-31. Anish Paraam was hit for 66 while picking up two wickets.