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Gyanendra, Shakti hand Nepal victory


Gyanendra Malla ended his long wait for a half century in cricket’s shorter
version as his fine 52 handed Nepal a winning start in the ICC World Twenty20
Qualifiers in Stormont, Belfast on Friday.

In their Group ‘A’ opening encounter, Nepal defeated United States of
America by six wickets cancelling out some nervous moments in their chase.
The win was set by veteran left arm spinner Shakti Gauchan
and Gyanendra against an nexperienced American side which itself in a
transition.

Shakti and Basanta Regmi picked up
three wickets each as Nepal bundled out USA, who had elected to bat first, for
just 121 in 20 overs. Nepal’s chase revolved around Gyanendra’s fine knock as
he not only completed his half century but also shared a record partnership for
Nepal in the Qualifiers with Anil Mandal leading the team to 122-4 in 19.4
overs.

Nepal left out out-of-form Subash Khakurel bringing in a new pair of
Anil Mandal and Sagar Pun. The wait to see a desired start however prolonged
after Sagar was out in the last ball of the first over making six off five.

Gyanendra stepped in and together with Anil shared 78-run stand guiding
his team close to victory. Nepal lost Anil for 29 off 42 that included one
boundary and one over later Gyanendra brought his half century with a boundary
in the 15
th over.


Gyanendra lost his wicket in the next over hitting six boundaries and a
six. After sharing 18 runs for the fourth wicket with skipper Paras Khadka,
Binod Bhandari (seven) also departed. 
However, Paras settled the nerves making an unbeaten 21 off 17
with two boundaries to give a desired start for Nepal. Sharad Vesawkar was
unbeaten on two.


Earlier, Fahad Babar and Akeem Dodson hit some blazing strokes as USA
had a flying start in their innings. Babar made 23 off 15 with three fours and
a six before losing his wicket to Sagar Pun.
After Babar’s departure, Dodson switched his fears smashing 39
runs and in between Sompal Kami removed Shiva Vashishat for three.


USA innings was subdued with the arrival of Shakti and Basant who not
only took care of the run rate but also picked up wickets. Paras also bowled
three miserly overs conceding just 10 runs.

Man-of-the-match Shakti took the key
wicket of Dodson and returned the figures of 3-16 from four overs. Basant had
3-24 and Sompal took 2-22. Karan KC was hammered for 27 runs in his two overs.

Nepal VS USA score-card

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