Khadka ton, Vesawkar 74* seal thriller for Nepal
Nepal 240 for 7 (Khadka 103, Vesawkar 74*, Burger 3-38) beat Namibia 239 for 9 (Baard 51, Green 47, Lamichhane 2-39) by three wickets
Captain Paras Khadka's highest score for Nepal led them to a tense three-wicket victory in their WCL Championship match against Namibia on Monday.
Khadka's 103 off 94 balls, and his third-wicket partnership of 167 with Sharad Vesawkar through the middle overs became crucial to chasing a target of 240 because Namibia were excellent in the final 10. They took five quick wickets to break into the Nepal tail, but the set batsman Vesawkar remained. He took the chase to the penultimate ball, struck the winning runs, and remained unbeaten on 74 off 107 balls.
Khadka and Vesawkar were brought together in the 14th over and they began to shut Namibia out. Khadka was the aggressor, striking seven sixes and five fours to maintain a strike-rate of 109.57 and Vesawkar lent excellent support, batting 165 minutes to make sure a tricky target was overcome.
It could have been a lot more considering Namibia captain Stephan Baard (51) and wicketkeeper Zane Green (47) had laid a strong foundation through a 95-run opening stand. The next three batsmen, though, fell for single-figure scores. Pikky Ya France and Gerhard Erasmus were run-out and Gerrie Snyman fell lbw for a duck to Basant Regmi.
Namibia lurched from 105 for 1 to 136 for 6 but Sarel Burger, at No. 7, struck an unbeaten 43 off 60 balls to lead a recovery. He rescued them with the ball too, taking three wickets across the 47th and the 49th overs to create some tension. Nepal were seven down when the final over began, and needed six runs to win. Vesawkar made sure they got it.
Among Nepal's bowlers, 15-year old legspinner Sandeep Lamichhane picked up 2 for 39 from nine overs. Left-arm spinner Shakti Gauchan, who opened the bowling, took 2 for 44 off his 10 overs and Regmi finished with 2 for 45.