Kenya defeated Nepal by one wicket in the second and final warm-up match ahead of the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifiers on a day when the team was once again without skipper Paras Khadka and regular opener Subash Khakurel.
In almost a repeat of ICC World Twenty20 Qualifiers match where Nepal chased 183 runs hitting 20 runs in the final over while requiring 17 runs, the role reversed this time as veteran Thomas Odoyo hammered Som Pal Kami for 18 runs in the final over, when Kenya needed 15 to win in chase of Nepal’s 265-8.
Som Pal had come into the match with an envious figures of 3-36 from 10 overs against Namibia on Friday but today he bowled 9.5 wicketless overs and went on to bleed 86 runs.
Odoyo blasted seven boundaries and two sixes in his whirlwind knock of unbeaten 66 off 44 balls as Kenya reached 269-9 in 49.5 overs. Odoyo’s match-winning innings was continuation to Mourice Ouma’s run-a-ball 73 that lifted Kenya from a reeling position of 127-6 from 32.3 overs.
Ouma shared 44 runs for the seventh wicket with Steve Tikolo (29) and 73 for the eighth with Odoyo before Jitendra Mukhiya cleaned him up. Ouma hit four boundaries and a six.
After Ouma’s dismissal, Shakti Gauchan put Nepal at the brink of victory removing Nehemiah Odhiambo (three) reducing Kenya to 249-9 and conceded just four runs in the penultimate over leaving them with 15 more to get from six balls.
Shakti and Sagar had tormented Kenyan batsmen early in the innings picking up three wickets each. Shakti finished with the figures of 4-28 from 10 overs and Sagar took 3-39. Basanta Regmi had one scalp.
Opener Mahesh Chhetri (six) had once again failed to make an impact but Nepal still managed 265-8 following fair enough contribution from other batsmen. Anil Mandal top scored with 62 off 65 with 11 boundaries. Binod Bhandari and Pradeep Airee brought the biggest partnership for Nepal with a 66-run stand for the seventh wicket.
Bhandari — who had also scored 66 against Namibia on Friday — made 48 off 39 with eight boundaries. Pradeep made 42 off 38 with four fours. Basanta was 23 not out from 17 with three hits to the fence.
Elihah Otieno and Odhiamo took two wickets each for Kenya.
Nepal will now begin their Qualifiers campaign with the match against the UAE on Monday. Hong Kong, Canada and Scotland are other teams in Group ‘A’. Group ‘B’ consists of the Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, Namibia and Kenya.