Nepal defeated the United States of America (USA) by 10 runs under Duckworth/Lewis Method to virtually seal a place in the final of the ICC World Cricket League Division-III.
The victory at the Kinrara Oval in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia has sent Nepal at the top of the table with a healthy run rate having scripted six points along with Uganda. Nepal will now play hosts Malaysia on Wednesday where only a huge-margin victory from Malaysia (four points) can push them to third spot, provided Uganda defeat Bermuda in their last game.
In a match that was replayed following a rained off game on Monday, USA once again won the toss and managed to reach 223-9 in 50 overs — 20 more than they had made a day earlier. Nepal were 73-1 — 10 runs ahead under D/L Methond — before rain intevened. With rain suggesting no further play in the day, Nepal was declared the winners.
Nepal had lost opener Naresh Budhayer (duck) in the last ball of the first over but Subash Khakurel and Gyanendra played sensibly. With the dark clouds hovering around the Kuala Lumpur sky, Nepal managed to collect enough runs that ultimately saw them through.
Subash was unbeaten on 49, while Gyanendra was 22 not out from 47 balls. Subash hit four boundaries in 82 balls — two boundaries came in the 22nd over bowled by Timil Patel.
Earlier, USA had a desired start when Steven Taylor and Fahad Babar added 64 runs for the first wicket inside 14 overs. Sagar Pun finally gave the breakthrough removing Taylor who made 36 off 41 with four boundaries and a six.
Babar and skipper Steve Massiah took USA close to triple figures before Sagar struck again. He dismissed Massiah caught behind by Subash. A run out of Srini Santhanam (two) reduced USA to 104-3 in 26.5 overs.
Babar offered further resistance and adding 34 runs for the fourth wicket with Patel but left arm spinner Shakti Gauchan dismissed the former to put USA on back foot. Babar top scored with 59 off 114 with four boundaries.
Patel made 39 off 50 with a four and when he was dismissed in the 47th over as eighth USA wicket to fall, it seemed they were going to be dismissed below 200. However, Muhammad Ghous smashed 27 off 18 that helped USA put up a challenging total.
Ghous hit two boundaries and two sixes — both coming in the last over bowled by Som Pal Kami. Shakti was the star performer with the ball for Nepal returning with the figures of 3-30 from 10 overs.
Basanta Regmi took 2-41 from his 10, while Sagar also returned with the same figures bowling eight overs. Som Pal was hit for 51 runs in nine overs.