Nepal produced one of the clinical performances in recent years defeating Oman for the first time in eight years to wrap up their ICC Cricket World League 2 Triangular Series in the gulf nation.
Seamer Karan KC and star leg spinner Sandeep Lamichhane ripped through Oman batting order to bundle them out for a paltry 121 all out in 37.1 overs. Skipper Gyanendra Malla then led the reply with a fluent half century and a new record ODI partnership as Nepal reached the target in just 18.2 overs.
This was Nepal’s first victory over Oman in eight years having beaten then last during the 2013 ICC World Cricket League Division 3 in Bermuda. The victory also means coach Dav Whatmore signs off from Nepal with a victory, his fourth win for the ODI nation, all of them coming this tour.
Following the result, Nepal climbed to the fourth spot in League 2 points table. A qualification process for 2023 50-over World Cup in India, League 2 send top three teams into the World Cup Qualifiers.
Nepal are tied on eight points with Namibia, who have a match in hand, but stay ahead on net run rate. Nepal have so far played eight matches in League 2. Table toppers Oman have 20 points from 13 games with the USA sitting second with 14 points from 15 games. Scotland are third with nine points from eight matches.
Following a heartbreaking six wicket loss at the hands of the Americans on Friday, Nepal needed a morale boosting victory which was set by Gyanendra after bowlers did their job.
Nepal lost opener Kushal Bhurtel (six) with 16 runs on the board before Gyanendra and Aasif Sheikh added 95 runs for the second wicket. It beats the previous best partnership of 89 runs which Gyanendra and Rohit Kumar Paudel were involved in against Papua New Guinea in the preceding series.
Gyanendra was unbeaten on 52 off 46 for his fourth half century in one-dayers. He hit four boundaries and two sixes. Aasif missed out on his second half century scoring a 44-ball 40 with seven hits to the fence.
Earlier, Karan KC gave Nepal a desired start reducing Oman to 30-3 including the wicket of Jatinder Singh (13) who had slamed a 60-ball century in the first game. Sandeep then picked up three wickets as Oman were reeling at 43-6 by the 14th over.
Sharad Vesawkar, playing his first and last match of the series, struck with two dismissals before Karan ended skipper Zeeshan Maqsood’s 66-ball resistance. Maqsood top scored for his side scoring 41 runs that included two fours and a six.
Sandeep returned the figures of 4-18 and Karan’s read 4-25. Sandeep ended the series with eight wickets and the tour with 18 having taken his career best 6-11 and another 4-35 against Papua New Guinea.