Nepal defeats USA to move to the top of the table
Day six of Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 3 (WCL Div.3) saw four teams in action, with defending champion Nepal defeating USA by 10 runs by the Duckworth-Lewis (D-L) Method to move to the top of the points table, and Singapore recording a three-wicket victory over Bermuda.
The two matches were restarted on Tuesday, the allocated reserve day, after being abandoned on Monday due to rain.
The results set up a mouth-watering final day of group games, with each do-or-die encounter determining who will reach the tournament final, and who will be relegated to WCL Div.4. With six points, Nepal’s high net run-rate (NRR) almost guarantees the side a spot in Thursday’s final, even if it loses Wednesday’s clash against Malaysia. However, three other teams are also in the running for a berth in the final, including Malaysia (four points) – if it beats Nepal by a large margin, it could leapfrog Uganda into second position if Uganda loses against Bermuda.
Uganda (six points) will be looking for a win to confirm its top-two finish, as a loss could see it drop from second to as low as fourth if both Malaysia and Singapore (four points) win their matches.
For the lowest-ranked teams, USA and Bermuda (both on two points), a win is required to prevent relegation to WCL Div.4. The USA faces Singapore in the third match of the day, and a convincing win could see the side jump as high as third when the NRR is calculated, while Bermuda requires a resounding win against Uganda to have a slim possibility of moving out of the bottom two.
At Kinrara Oval, replying to USA’s 223 for nine, Nepal was 73 for one in 22 overs when rain stopped play. When the match officials finally called the match off, Nepal was ahead by ten runs on D-L method. Opener Subash Khakurel, later adjudged man of the match, was unbeaten on 49 with four fours, and Gyanendra Malla was 22 not out as the two batsmen put on 72 runs for the unfinished second wicket partnership.
Earlier, USA posted 223 for nine from 50 overs, with 22-year-old Fahad Babar (59) scoring his first half-century of the tournament. Babar put on a 64-run partnership for the first wicket with Steven Taylor (36), while Timil Patel (39) and Muhammad Ghous (27 not out) also made useful contributions.
For Nepal, Shakti Gauchan claimed three wickets for 30 runs from 10 overs, while Sagar Pun and Basant Regmi took two wickets for 41 runs apiece.
Nepal now moves to the top of the points table, and Nepal coach Pubudu Dassanayake was delighted with the result: “We are really confident now, because our net run-rate is very high. But from now on, we want to win each game. It’s not about leading the table, we want to win the final as well. The guys are really pumped, and they’re looking forward to two good days.
“The match has been played over two days, which can be a bit stressful because this game can actually be the decider. So, I am really happy that we got through. We came here to win the tournament, so we’ve got two games to go, and we are going to focus on those two games.”
Pubudu said that fan support continues to buoy Nepal in every match: “Today, like wherever we go, the supporters come and support us. It’s great to see them all the time, with lots of commitment despite this rain. They don’t leave until the game finishes, so a special thanks goes to all the fans.”
In the second match of the day, a four-wicket haul by Vijay Kumar Selladore helped Singapore record a three-wicket victory over Bermuda at Bayeumas.
Despite a shaky start, Singapore chased down the target of 125 in 31.3 overs for the loss of seven wickets to post 127 for its second win of the tournament.
Earlier, Bermuda won the toss and elected to bat, however, the top order batsmen were not able to establish themselves at the crease, with Terryn Fray (4), Dion Stovell (19) Christian Burgess (11) and Janeiro Tucker (9) departing in the first 10 overs with the scoreboard showing 58 for four. The side was eventually bowled out for 124 in 27.5, with number-eight batsman Kamau Leverock finishing as the top scorer with 28.
For Singapore, man of the match Selladore claimed four middle-order wickets to return match figures of four wickets for 38 runs from 8.5 overs, while Abhiraj Singh snapped up three for 17 from four overs.
In response, Singapore lost two wickets for five runs in 1.4 overs before 35-year-old Chaminda Ruwan’s knock of 57 steadied the innings. Man of the match Selladore struck a four on the last delivery to see his side pass its target of 125 and finish on 127 for the loss of seven wickets.
Singapore skipper Saad Junjua was relieved to win the match. “We came with a different type of approach and didn’t quite execute it. I am pleased to have won two matches out of the four we’ve played, but there are a lot of things to work on for tomorrow’s match. I am looking forward to tomorrow, but we need to improve. I am sure we will do that.”
The teams will play their final group matches on Wednesday.
Points table as at Monday, 28 October:
Scores in brief:
Bermuda 124 all out, 27.5 overs (Kamau Leverock 28; Vijay Kumar Selladore 4-38, Abhiraj Singh 3-17)
Singapore 127 for seven (Chaminda Ruwan 57; Kamau Leverock 3-16, Dion Stovell 2-32)
Singapore won by three wickets
Player of the Match: Vijay Kumar Selladore (Singapore)
USA 223 for nine, 50 overs (Fahad Babar 59, Timil Patel 39, Steven Taylor 36, Muhammad Ghous 27 not out; Shakti Gauchan 3-30, Sagar Pun 2-41, Basant Regmi 2-41)
Nepal 73 for one, 22.0 overs (revised target of 64) (Subash Khakurel 49 not out, Gyanendra Malla 22 not out)
Nepal won by 10 runs (D-L method)
Player of the Match: Subash Khakurel (Nepal)
The fixtures for Wednesday are:
At Kinrara: USA v Singapore
At Bayeumas: Uganda v Bermuda
At Selangor Turf Club: Malaysia v Nepal
All matches are scheduled to start at 1015 local time