Kathmandu, Feb 14 – A quick-fire 42 runs in 31 balls by bowler Karan KC propelled Nepal into the qualifiers of the 2019 Cricket World cup, defeating Canada by one wicket today.
In the final match of the ICC World Cricket League Division-2 held at the Wanderers Cricket Ground in Windhoek, Namibia, Nepal sneaked through in the last ball of the match, thanks to the heroics of KC, whose innings was studded with 3 fours and four sixes.
Earlier, deciding to bowl first, Nepal had restricted Canada to an average total of 194 runs, claiming 8 wickets in the stipulated 50 overs. Basant Regmi was the pick of the bowlers for Nepal, taking 3 wickets and giving away only 34 runs in 10 overs. Sandeep Lamichhane took 2 wickets while Karan KC and Sharad Veshwakar took 1 wicket each.
The Canadian total was built around the 103 runs scored by opener Srimantha Wijerante, who remained undefeated at the end of the innings.
In reply, Nepal made a poor start losing opener Gyanendra Malla for just 9 runs and captain Paras Khadka for a first ball duck. Sharad Veshwakar too went out early scoring only 1 run in 5 balls.
Building on the 45 runs scored by wicket-keeper batsman Dilip Nath and 18 runs by Dipendra Singh Airee, Aarif Sheikh and Rohit Kumar took Nepal closer to the victory target. However, Nepal kept losing wickets and were left with the last pair in the 42nd over with only 144 runs on the board.
However, Karan had other ideas for the day and took away the match with a sensational innings, while Sandeep gave him company. Karan scored a single of the last ball to script a famous win for the country.
With the win, Nepal finished top of the points table with 8 points from five matches. The United Arab Emirates finished second, to take the second spot in the WC qualifiers.
Others in the league competing for the two spots in the qualifiers were hosts Namibia, Kenya, Canada and Oman.