Nepal were left with a tedious task to save their first three-day First Class game against Kurunegala Combine-XI as the hosts have built on a 289-run lead in their second innings heading into the final day.
On the second day when 16 wickets had fallen, Kurunegala rode on the top squeezing out Nepal for just 187 runs in their first inning having posted 347 all out on the first day. At the stumps on the second day, Nepal did pick up six wickets for Kurunegala but they have made 129 runs and on course to a huge lead that could peg Nepal back.
Sagar Pun got two important wickets to get Nepal back in the game but looking at the way how Nepali batsmen fared in the first innings, the road seems to be tough for them. Sagar dismissed first innings centurion Minod Banuka (11) and well set Gayan Maneeshan for 63. Maneeshan ‘s 73-ball innings read seven boundaries and two sixes.
Karan KC, Som Pal Kami, Paras Khadka and Rajesh Pulami Magar also had one scalp apiece. Madawa Warnapura is batting on 24 off 67 for Kurunegala.
Earlier, Nepali batsmen succumbed to the pin point bowling from Kurunegala as they lost their first seven wickets for just 82 runs. Paras and Som Pal saved Nepal from humiliation with a 49-run partnership for the eighth wicket.
Paras completed his half century but when he was dismissed for 59 off 110 after hitting seven boundaries, Nepal were 131-8. Som Pal defied the local side with two crucial partnerships with Bhuwan Karki (15) and Karan (nine not out).
The day’s savior was Som Pal who made 49 off 95 hitting three sixes and four boundaries. Anil Mandal (12) was the only remaining Nepali batsman to make runs in double figures. Naresh Budhayer and Rajesh were out for duck.
Subash Khakurel (four), Binod Bhandari (six), Sagar Pun (three) and Shakti Gauchan (eight) all lost their wickets cheaply. Mohammed Shiraz picked up three wickets for Kurunegala, while Shalika Karunanayake and Chamikara Edirisinghe had two scalps apiece.
Karunegala Combine Eleven 1st Inning
Nepal 1st Inning
Karunegala Combine Eleven 2nd Inning