Vesawkar shines as Nepal crush Kenya by seven wickets
Nepal 160 for 3 (Malla 64*, Airee 62, Otieno 2-29) beat Kenya 155 (Obuya 48, Vesawkar 4-28) by seven wickets
Four wickets from Sharad Vesawkar - his best List A bowling effort - and half centuries from stand-in captain Gyanendra Malla and Dipendra Singh Airee took Nepal to a comfortable seven-wicket win against Kenya in the ICC World Cricket League match in Kirtipur. Nepal's bowlers, led by Vesawkar's four-for, choked Kenya's batting with some economical bowling before the hosts overcame an early stutter - courtesy two early wickets from Elijah Otieno - to eventually canter home with 118 balls to spare.
After being sent in to bat, Kenya lost opener Alex Obanda and Dhiren Gondaria in the fourth over before a 79-run third wicket-stand between Irfan Karim (38) and Collins Obuya (48) took them close to the 100-run mark. While the duo stemmed the fall of wickets, their partnership also took up 140 balls. Both batsmen fell in quick succession, following which tight bowling from Mahaboob Alam (7-5-11-2), Sagar Pun (7-0-19-1) and Vesawkar saw Kenya fall from 151 for 6 to 155 all out in the 47th over. Prior to Monday's win, Vesawkar had bowled just two overs in 21 List A matches but helped to fill a void with both bat and ball created by the absence of captain Paras Khadka, who missed his second match of the series as he recovers from surgery for appendicitis.
Otieno gave Kenya hope, removing Nepal opener Sunil Dhamala and Sagar Pun in his first spell. Malla was joined by Airee at 14 for 2 and stitched together a 111-run partnership to take Nepal to the brink of a win. Airee fell for 62 with Nepal needing another 31 runs to win, and Vesawkar then shone with the bat, scoring an 11-ball 24 and dispatching the last two balls for a four and a six to seal the match in the 31st over.