Three half-centuries propel Nepal to victory over Canada in 2nd ODI

Kathmandu, Feb. 11: The TU International Cricket Ground was vibrant after a long time on Saturday as Nepal defeated Canada in the second ODI and won the three-ODI series with one match in hand. 

With three players crossing the 50-run mark, Nepal chased a target of 286 runs with 29 balls remaining in the loss of six wickets.

Thousands of fans thronged the TU Cricket Ground to witness the second match against Canada as the team was in good form after the players showed it in the first ODI on February 8. 

Nepal defeated Canada by seven runs in the 1st ODI as the team defended a target of 225 runs. The final match of the series will be played on Monday.

Canada elected to bat first after winning the toss in the 2nd ODI. Openers Aaron Johnson and Navneet Dhaliwal were scary from the start and a huge pressure on Nepali bowlers.

Showcasing his bowling talent in the 2024 U19 World Cup recently, Aakash Chand, who debuted in the ODIs on Saturday, broke the first-wicket partnership in the 19th over as Dhaliwal (46 off 60) was caught behind the stumps. However, until then, the opening duo had taken the team to 94 runs.

Crossing the 50-run mark, Johnson followed Dhaliwal in the 23rd over after he was run out after scoring 65 off 62. Pargat Singh and Nicholas Kirton were unable to contribute enough as they departed after scoring 38 off 38 and 20 off 29 respectively.

However, as Nepal was looking to restrict Canada to a lower target, wicketkeeper-batsman Shreyas Movva made Nepal wait until the whole 50 overs ended. Before getting out in the final ball of the inning, Movva added 40 runs on the board in 42 deliveries and took the team to 285.

With Chand opening his account in men’s international ODIs, Surya Tamang too opened his. Tamang debuted in the first ODI against Canada but was not able to take any wickets.

While Sompal Kami and Pawan Sarraf also bagged one wicket each, Kushal Malla and captain Rohit Kumar Paudel claimed two each. 

Quality batting of Nepal

Replacing Kushal Bhurtel as the opener, Anil Kumar Sah, who scored the most runs in the PM Men’s Cup 2024, opened Nepal’s chase with a blast. Sah debuted for Nepal in 2018 but had been inactive on the international stage for quite some time. 

It took him only 19 balls to get his half-century with seven fours and three sixes and announce his return to the national side. However, he departed in the 20th ball after getting struck leg before in the seventh over. It was the second-fastest fifty for a Nepali batsman in men’s ODI.

Sah was the second wicket for Canada as wicketkeeper-batsman Aasif Sheikh (10 off 16) departed in the fifth over after getting caught while playing a drive on the off side.

Rohit Paudel and Dev Khanal, who captained the U19 side in the World Cup, then took everything in their hands after the 7th over. Starting with defence, the two batsmen showered boundaries in the latter overs.

Khanal, who was dropped once before crossing the 50-run mark, and Paudel guided the team to 214 runs in the 34th over. In 33.5 overs, Khanal departed after adding 76 off 81 on the board.

Bhim Sarki then tried maintaining a partnership with Paudel but he departed in the 40th over after scoring 23 off 21. Despite doing great and nearing his second ODI century, Paudel (87 off 101) was caught behind the stumps after a slight edge on the bat. Captain Paudel hit four maximums and eight fours. He was the player of the match as well.

Pawan Sarraf (14 off 8) was the sixth and final wicket that fell for Nepal in the 42nd over as he was also caught behind the stumps. Kushal Malla and Sompal Kami scored nine runs each and stayed not out as the target was chased in the first ball of the 46th over.

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