Paras Khadka’s dominating innings led Nepal to applaudable total of 362 runs, loosing all 10 wickets in stipulated 50 overs. Nepal’s Paras Khadka called the coin’s side right and asked Hampshire Hogs to field first.
Subash Khakurel, who returned in national colour after a long gap of 3 years, got a chance to open an innings for Nepal along with their regular opener in recent time, Gyanendra Malla. Nepal’s experienced opening pair couldn’t stay there for long as Malla (05) lost his wicket during very second over of the innings.
Paras Khadka then joined Khakurel. Khakurel (11) could only hung there for 3 more overs with his skipper. Nepal were in deep trouble with losing both the openers inside 6 overs along with only 20 runs on the board. Then, Sharad Vesawkar (14) shared 33 runs with his skipper to take Nepal over 50 runs within 12 overs. After Vesawkar’s departure, Nepal were on serious trouble loosing 3 wickets and runs on very average rate of 4.5 per overs. Nepal were clearly on back seat but savior innings from skipper as pillar of Nepal’s batting line up, Paras Khadka along with most probable future’s captain, Dipendra Airee balanced the pendulum for Nepal.
They batted 15 overs together and added 110 runs for Nepal before Airee (36) was caught at long-off. Khadka contributed maximum 64 runs in the partnership. Khadka didn’t stop there on, despite of losing his partner, he composed himself and completed his century with a maximum hit over the rope for six. Khadka, who was already looking dangerous, shifted his gear there on and slammed almost every other deliveries for boundaries. He jumped towards 150s in no time, taking altogether 100 balls to do so. Yet again he lost his another partner in the name of Aarif Sheikh (27), after adding 102 runs together.
Again, Khadka contributed around 75% runs of the partnership. Now, Nepal lost Khadka (161) as 6th wicket for Hogs. He slammed 161 runs on his splendid innings of 106 balls along with 7 sixes and 19 fours.
Rohit Paudel and Karan KC batted together and added 34 runs for the side with handy 11ball- 18 runs cameo from Karan KC. Paudel added 22 runs with Lamichhane (16). Lamichhane took 13 balls to add valuable 16 runs for the side. Nepal were 8 wickets down with still 6 overs in hand. Paudel batted with tail enders to propel Nepal’s total to 362 runs. Paudel (44) added 37 runs with Lalit Bhandari (16)* and got out on second last over of the innings. He missed well deserved half-century by 6 runs.
If one among Vesawkar, Aarif and Airee could have converted the start they got, Nepal could cross 400 runs mark. But Nepal should take it positively as it is a first experience for many youngsters in European condition. Hampshire requires 363 runs to win in 300 balls.
Pic © Hampshire Hogs Cricket Club.