Guinea (PNG) lower middle order displayed a pure example of sensible
batting snatching victory from Nepal from their hand in a three-wicket
victory to win their second round of ICC World Cricket League
Championship (WCLC) match 2-0 in Abu Dhabi.
making an insecure 224-8 from 50 overs, Nepal went to the threshold of
their maiden victory of the tournament reducing PNG to 141-7 before Jack
Vare staged a remarkable comeback leading his side to 225-7
in 49.4 overs.
PNG had a quick start and
they were quite ahead on net run rate despite three wickets from Sompal
Kami, two from Basanta Regmi and one each from Shakti Gauchan and Sagar
Pun pushed them close to defeat. Sese Bau
(36), Tony Ura (24) and Assad Vala (18) were some key contributors but
that was not enough to save them from being in a precarious position.
While all the PNG batsmen
were throwing their bat at everything that came their way, Vare was
calm. His first boundary came in the 74th ball of the innings
that he faced but he had already done the job for the team.
In his 84-run match winning
unbeaten partnership with John Reva, Vare began very cautiously rarely
showing any signs of aggression before hitting ball the long way when
his team was just 34 runs away from victory. Vare made 76 off 90 hitting
three boundaries and Reva chipped in 31 off 45 with just one hit to the
Earlier, Nepal were left
stunned by duck dismissals of openers Anil Mandal and Subash Khakurel
who both fell to Norman Vanua in the first over.
Sagar Pun and Gyanendra
Malla rebuilt the innings but through a 66-run partnership that was
painstaking. Gyanendra was playing superbly before departing for 36 off
52 that included five hits to the fence.
Sagar’s stay at the crease
was more frustrating as he rarely middle the ball making 47 off 92 with just
one boundary, which came off a drop chance early in the innings. After
Sagar fell, skipper Paras Khadka and Sharad Vesawkar shared a 60-run
partnership that helped Nepal go beyond 200-run mark.
Paras made 58 off 81 with
five boundaries, while Sharad’s 45-ball 42 including one four. Mehboob
Alam was unbeaten on 15 off seven. Vanua took 3-49 and Vala had the
figures of 3-36.