Nepali batsmen failed to back a solid bowling effort as the
hosts began their ICC Cricket World Cup League 2 campaing with an 18-run defeat
to Oman at the Tribhuvan University ground on Wednesday.
Electing to field first, left arm spinner Sushan Bhari bowled
with guile and Karan KC took four wickets as Nepal restricted Oman to 197-9 in
50 overs. The ordinary total, however, turned out to be mammoth for the home team
which was bundled out for just 179 in 46.5 overs.
Nepal were shell-shocked early in the innings after they lost
new opening pair of skipper Paras Khadka (three) and Gyanendra Malla (one) with
just four runs on the board. Sharad Vesawkar and Dipendra Airee then
resurrected the innings with a 62-run partnership for the third wicket.
Dipendra, who looked at his usual best, once again fell trap
to a leg before decision after he was undone by an inswinging delivery from
Mohammad Nadeem. The 66-2 became 73-5 after Nepal also lost Aarif Sheikh (four)
and Rohit Kumar Paudel (duck).
Sharad then added another 43 runs for the sixth wicket with
Binod Bhandari (26) before Oman struck again. They got rid of Bhandari and
Karan KC (duck) in quick succession silencing the TU ground thronged by around
With Sharad still in the crease, Sandeep Lamichhane played
some good shots while reigniting Nepal’s hopes in a 38-run stand for the eighth
wicket. But after Aqib Ilyas bowled Sharad round the legs, Nepal’s last hope
perished. Sharad, who struck his first ODI half century in second appearance,
scored a 108-ball 55 with five boundaries.
Sandeep scored 28 off 27 with three fours and a six before
falling to Zeeshan Maqsood, the captain picked up 3-30 from 10 overs for Oman.
Bilal Khan and Kaleemullah also had two scalps apiece for Oman.
Earlier, Sushan Bhari shone in his debut One Day
International match picking up three wickets in a miserly bowling display to
help Nepal restrict Oman to an ordinary total.
Skipper Gyanendra Malla’s decision to bat first was
vindicated by spinners, Bhari in particular, as Oman innings was shut down
below 200. Seamer Karan KC seized the early initiative removing both the
openers Jatinder Singh and Khawar Ali inside seven overs.
Bhari didn’t let Oman middle order to play openly and struck
with the prized scalps of skipper Zeeshan Maqsood (20) and Suraj Kumar (duck) in
a space of three deliveries. He also ended Oman’s biggest partnership of 60
runs removing Sandeep Goud.
He returned the figures of 3-14 from 10 overs that included
one maiden. Veteran Mohammad Nadeem top scored for Oman with an unbeaten 69 off
96 deliveries. He hit five boundaries and two sixes. He was involved in both
big partnerships of Oman – the first being 60 runs for the sixth wicket with
Nadeem also shared 42 runs for the eighth wicket with Naseem
Khushi who played an 18-ball cameo of 28 runs that included two sixes and as
many fours. Goud’s 72-ball 33 included three fours and a six.
took 4-47 from nine overs. Dipendra also took 1-22 from five overs for Nepal.
Leg spinner Sandeep gave away 45 runs in his 10 wicketless overs.