Nepal got off their ICC World Cricket League Division-II campaign to a disastrous start losing to Uganda by two runs at the Wanderers Affies in Windhoek, Namibia on Saturday.
After losing to Uganda in the two opening stage games of the Division-III tournament in Bermuda and Malaysia, the jinx continued for Nepal when they failed to overhaul the African team’s 146 all out in 49.5 overs folded for 144 in 50 overs.
Nepal required 10 runs from the last over and Karan KC – in a tensed debut for the national team – raised some hopes hitting Jonathan Sebanja for a boundary in the first ball. Two singles then left Nepal four to get from the last three balls with Karan in strike. After a dot ball, the two batsmen took a single from a leg bye and when three was required to win from the last ball, Basanta holed out a catch to Brian Masaba.
It was a story of failure for Nepali middle order who couldn’t cash in on a 35-run stand from openers Naresh Budhayer and Subash Khakurel. Naresh was victim of a run out after making 16 off 31 with two boundaries. New man Gyanendra Malla and Subash added another 32 to solidify Nepal’s position before the dismissal of the latter paralysed Nepal’s middle order.
Subash was out for 32 off 69 with four boundaries losing his wicket to Davis Karashani. Skipper Paras Khadka (five), Sharad Vesawkar (five), Binod Bhandari (one) and Sompal Kami (four) all fell cheaply as Nepal lost five wickets for just 30 runs.
Gyanendra soon departed top scoring with 34 off 66 and worse was to follow when Sagar Pun’s second-ball duck left Nepal reeling at 110-8 in 38.5 overs. Shakti Gauchan and Basanta played cautiously before the former brought Nepal back in the match smashing Roger Mukasa for two sixes leaving Nepal to get 14 from the last 12 balls.
Shakti, however, was out in the next over with Nepal collecting just four runs setting a tensed final over. Henry Sseyndo picked up 3-21 for Uganda, while Frank Nsubuga (2-23) and Karashni (2-31) shared four wickets between them.
Earlier, Uganda had an identical start when openers Roger Mukasa (13) and Arthur Kyobe added 35 runs for the first wicket. Paras broke the stand dismissing Mukasa before removing Kyobe and Phillemon Mukhobe (three). Kyobe made 23 off 42 with three boundaries. Shakti then dismissed Abram Mutyagaba (10) reducing Uganda to 53-4 in 23.3 overs.
Masaba and Karashani (23) stage a fight back adding 65 runs for the fifth wicket but the dismissal of the former off Basanta virtually ended their challenge. Masaba posted a match-high 43 off 70 with four boundaries and a six.
Paras finished with the figures of 3-14 from nine overs, while Sompal and Basanta picked up two wickets each. Karashani was adjudged the man-of-the-match. Nepal next play the Netherlands on Sunday.