Oman started Asia Cup Qualifier campaign with a solid win against Nepal. They thrashed Khadka’s side by 7 wickets.
Oman was asked to score 223 runs in stipulated 50 overs. Ilyas and Singh added 33 runs for first wicket before Paras Khadka trapped Ilyas (16) in front of stumps. Wategaonkar (41) came at no.3 position and shared 38 runs with Singh (30). Oman were at 147/3 during 37th over. They were 76 runs short of target with 80 balls remaining. Then, unbeaten 77 runs partnership between Khawar Ali and Zeeshan Maqsood took a game for Oman. Ali scored 84 runs from 96 balls with the help of 6 fours and 4 sixes. His partner, Maqsood added 45 run from 36 balls with 3 fours and sixes respectively. Nepalese bowlers didn’t get enough support from their fielders. Wicket-keeper, Khakurel missed 3 catches behind the stumps. All other bowlers were wicket less except Paras Khadka. He bowled 7 overs, expensing 24 runs with a wicket in his tally. Lamichhane just expensed 27 runs in his bowling spell of 10 overs. In the end, Oman surpassed Nepal by 7 wickets with 12 balls remaining.
Earlier, Nepal was asked to bat first in their inaugural match of the tournament against oman. Nepal trusted the old pair of Subash khakurel as well as Gyanendra Malla at the top which didn’t last for long. They added 31 runs for first wicket. The disastrous run out of Khakurel opened a flood gate for Oman as they chipped in with wickets at an important time. Nepal’s most prolific batsmen skipper Paras Khadka felt the heat as he faced 24 balls for his 8 runs.
Similarly, the inform Dipendra singh Airee perished after hitting sweet spot of his bat trying to look flamboyant from the way go. The only spark and positive thing in batting was provided by the vice- captain Gyanendra Malla with his 45 runs that included 6 fours and a six. After his demise trying to get to his 50 in a heroic manner, their team lost momentum and got into the hole but thanks to Sagar Pun with yet another powerful performance this year, a half century that would certainly help his cause in the upcoming matches. Pun smashed 83 runs with 6 fours and 2 sixes. Aarif Sheikh held on one end of the wicket with 36 runs of 74 balls. In the end, Karan KC played exceptional innings to propel Nepal innings to 222 runs, losing 9 wickets. He faced 10 balls to add 26 runs with 1 fours and 2 sixes. For Oman, Kalemullah bowled an impressive full quota of 10 over for 29 runs. He was the main reason behind Nepal’s poor runs in the middle over. Similarly Bilal Khan, Lalcheta as well as Nadeem chipped in with 2 wickets each.
Nepal will face UAE tomorrow whereas Oman will go against Malaysia.
Image © Raman Shiwakoti