Vare guides PNG to thrilling comeback win
Papua New Guinea 225 for 7 (Vare 76*, Bau 36, Kami 3-51) beat Nepal 224 for 8 (Khadka 58, Pun 47, Vala 3-36) by three wickets
Captain Jack Vare's match-winning 76 led Papua New Guinea to their second successive successful last-over chase against Nepal in Abu Dhabi. Chasing 225 for victory, PNG had been reduced to 141 for 7 before Vare combined with John Reva (31) to change the complexion of the game with an unbroken 84-run stand. The pair brought down the equation from 60 off 60 to 6 off 6 before Vare struck the first ball off the last over for four to effectively kill the game and complete a stunning comeback win.
Earlier, Nepal got off to a poor start after choosing to bat, losing both their openers in the first over as Norman Vanua trapped them both lbw. Sagar Pun (47) and Gyanendra Malla (36) then steadied the innings with a 66-run stand which was followed by partnerships of 51 and 60 for the fourth and fifth wickets respectively, as Nepal's middle order got stuck in to the bowling.
Nepal's captain Paras Khadka top-scored with 58 and found able company in Sharad Vesawkar (42). However, the batsmen failed to find the required impetus towards the end of the innings and finished with 224 for 8. Vanua and Assad Vala claimed three wickets each.
PNG lost Lega Siaka for a duck in the first over of the chase but Vala and Tony Ura struck a brisk 42-run second-wicket partnership. The game turned again as Nepal found wickets with regularity and reduced PNG to 141 for 7 in the 35th over. Sompal Kami did the early damage, picking up figures of 3 for 51 and Basant Regmi scalped two middle-order wickets.