Nepal’s batting conundrums continued again as the team suffered a horrific collapse to lose the 1st WCL match against Hong Kong by 83 runs. Hong Kong, in turn, reclaimed the 4th place in the WCL Championship points table by replacing Kenya from the position.
Nepal won the toss and put Hong Kong to bat and in response, the hosts posted 194 runs on board before getting all out in their 50 overs.
Hong Kong’s innings rallied around veteran Jamie Atkinson’s knock of 76 from 117 deliveries and he got support from Babar Hayat (29 off 26). However, Nepal bowlers bowled brilliantly to reduce them to 144/8 in the 41st over.
Nepal’s hopes of keeping Hong Kong below 150-160 were dashed big time as Tanvir Afzal blasted 38 off 42 deliveries to take Hong Kong almost near 200.
Sandeep Lamichhane (3/48), Basant Regmi (2/33) & Karan KC (2/22) took the honours of being the best bowlers on display for Nepal.
Skipper Paras Khadka tried his best to stay at the crease but got out contributing 26 runs and there were similar scores made by Arif Sheikh (23 off 40), Gyanendra Malla (21 off 29), but none of the other batsmen were able to contribute much to the team’s cause.
Ehsan Khan triggered a dramatic middle over collapse as Nepal went from 56/2 to get bowled out for only 111 in 34.5 overs with Khan picking 5/17 and Aizaz Khan also chipping in with 3/14 to register a comfortable victory for the home side.
Nepal need to win the 2nd match now to keep their hopes alive for a top 4 finish. If they lose the next match as well, then they will be relegated to WCL Division 2.