Skipper Paras Khadka and Sharad Vesakar combined for a century stand to hand Nepal a thrilling two-wicket victory over Sri Lanka Ports Authority and Cricket Club (SLPACC) in the third practice match of their preparation tour of Sri Lanka in Colombo on Tuesday.
Chasing SLPACC’s 200 all out in 45.5 overs, Nepal were reeling at 20-3 in 7.1 overs before Paras and Sharad shared 128 runs for the fourth wicket before Nepal finished at 204-8 with six balls to spare.
Nepal had a horrible start in their chase when they lost Subash Khakurel (10), Anil Mandal (two) and vice-captain Gyanendra Malla (duck) cheaply.
After the resurrection from Paras and Sharad, Nepal were heading towards a comfortable victory but a dismissal of the Nepali skipper triggered a brief collapse.
From 148-3, Nepal slipped to 150-6 after Nepal lost Paras and Binod Bhandari (duck) in a space of four balls and Sharad was next to go after two more runs.
Paras posted a match-high 91 off 106 balls with seven towering sixes and four boundaries, while Sharad made 34 off 69 including a six and a four.
Prithu Baskota (13) and Pradeep Airee took Nepal close to the victory mark with a 36-run stand for the seventh wicket.
Pradeep lost his wicket in the last ball off the 46th over as Nepal required just two runs from the last four overs. Pradeep made 24 off 35.
Shakti Gauchan and Basanta Regmi tested SLPACC bowlers before the latter hit the inning boundary in the last ball of the penultimate over.
Anuk de Alwis and Chanaka Komasaru took three wickets each for the hosts. Earlier, Sagar Pun tightened the grip with his off spin returning with the figures of 4-36 from 10 overs.
Prithu (2-14) and Avinash Karn (2-36) also shared four wickets between them, while Basanta had one scalp.