Shrugging off the difficult batting conditions due to overnight rain, the national cricket team on Monday won their second consecutive match in their preparation camp of Dharamshala.
After defeating Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) XI by five wickets on Sunday, Nepal rode on a fighting half century from vice-captain Gyanendra Malla to defeat the same side by 61 runs.
The pitch at the HPCA Stadium in Dharamshala was tough to bat on due to persistent overnight rain. And it took toll on Nepali team, which was put to bat first, after they were reduced to 47-6 inside 11 overs. However, Gyanendra defied the odds lifting Nepal to 122-7 with two crucial partnerships.
Nepal’s seam bowling did the rest to feast on HPCA batting bundling them out for just 61 runs with 33 balls to spare. Sompal Kami destroyed the top order picking up three wickets, while Jitendra Mukhiya and veteran left arm spinner Shakti Gauchan took two wickets each for Nepal.
Karan KC also had one scalp. Sompal conceded 18 runs in four overs, while Karan gave away just nine runs. Only Sumeet Verma (18) and Vikrant Singh (10) managed to make runs in double figures for HPCA in a brief resistance of a 23-run partnership.
Earlier, Nepal were at dire straits losing Subash Khakurel (five), Sagar Pun (four), Paras Khadka (one), Binod Bhandari (one), Sharad Vesawkar (11) and Pradeep Airee (duck) cheaply.
However, Gyanendra stuck to the crease and together with Sompal shared 38 runs for the seventh wicket. Sompal was out for 24 off 21 hitting three boundaries. Gyanendra continued to play as a saviour and notched up another 37 runs for the eighth wicket with Shakti (nine not out) in what proved as the defining knock.
Gyanendra was unbeaten on 52 off 47 with two fours and a six. Kunwar Abhinay picked up three wickets for the hosts, while Gurwinder Singh had two scalps.