Nepal’s won their sixth straight match in their New Delhi tour after defeating an Invitation-XI side by six wickets at the Bharatnagar Academy grounds on Tuesday.
Bowlers set up Nepal for a convincing victory against a side that looked relatively weaker than in the first four friendly matches. Shakti Gauchan was crucial in shaping Nepal’s victory as he returned with the figures of 3-9 form his four over spell containing Invitational-XI for just 91-9 in 20 overs.
With a low target to chase, an almost equal contribution from three top order batsmen took Nepal to 92-4 in 18.1 overs. Nepal lost opener Subash Khakurel (six) but not before he and Pradeep Airee added 29 runs for the first wicket.
Pradeep made 24 off 21 with two sixes and a bo0undary and after both the openers headed back to the pavilion, skipper Paras Khadka and Gyanendra Malla eased the chase. The duo added 36 runs for the third wicket before losing their wickets in a space of 10 runs but by then Nepal were just three runs sigh of the target.
Gyanendra made a match-high 33 off 39 with two boundaries, while Paras hit a six and a four in his 21 off 36. Binod Bhandari completed the chase. Vishal Dikshit took two wickets for the local side.
Earlier, Nepali bowlers tighten the screws as Invitational-XI hardly put any fight against them. Shakib Alam (18), Hiten Dalal and Vikash– 13 each – and Nitish Rana (10) made runs in double figures for Invitational-XI.
Apart from Shakti, Basanta Regmi also took two wickets for Nepal, while Amrit Bhattarai, Jitendra Mukhiya and Paras took one each with their medium pace attack.