Nepal suffered a humiliating eight-wicket defeat from Ireland in the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifiers in their third Group ‘A’ match that saw them crash to their lowest ever Twenty20 International score and second lowest in the game’s history.
In a difficult batting pitch where Ireland made the right judgment by electing to field first, Nepal were squeezed out for 53 in 14.3 overs. It left behind their lowest total of 69 against Netherlands in a recent four-match bilateral Twenty20 International Series.
The score was also the second lowest in the Twenty20 International history narrowly escaping Netherlands’ 39 all out against Sri Lanka in the 2014 ICC World Twenty20. Nepal slipped to fourth spot with three points from three matches in Group ‘A’ following the defeat behind table toppers Ireland (six points), Papua New Guinea (three points) and Namibia (three points)
Nepal were no match to a strong Irish squad who proved that they not only win the game by bat but also ball provided the opponents are going with a bad day.
Nepal had a rocking start when opener Sagar Pun hit three boundaries but once Anil Mandal (two) lost his wicket in the third over, Nepal’s slide began. John Mooney removed Sagar and Pradep Airee (duck) in quick succession before Gyanendra Malla fell prey to Kevin.
The scores soon read 38-5 when Nepal lost skipper Paras Khadka was bowled by Craig Young. Sharad Vesawkar and Rajesh Pulami Magar offered a brief resistance before the former’s dismissal off Kevin resumed the collapse.
Kevin also removed Binod Bhandari for a duck and Stuart Thompson picked up three remaining wickets to polish off the tail. Sagar top scored with 20 off 18, while Paras (10) was the only remaining bowler to make runs in double figures.
With a low total to defend against a strong Irish batting line-up, the only bright spot for Nepal came in the second over when Sompal Kami bowled Niall O’Brien (three). However, Paul Stirling and skipper William Porterfield sailed the Irish ship with a 49-run partnership for the second wicket.
Stirling made 29 off 21 with four fours and a six before he became the second victim of Sompal. Porterfiled was 18 not out from 20 with three boundaries. Nepal will now play Hong Kong in their next match .