Nepal, Singapore, USA post easy victories
Paras Khadka, the Nepal captain, struck a rapid half-century to lead his team to victory against Jersey in their opening match of the World Cricket League Division Five in Bhaktapur. Chasing 175, Khadka scored 69 off 66 balls and received support from Shakti Gauchan and Sharad Vesawkar, who made 32 and 33. Nepal completed their six-wicket victory in the 38th over. Earlier, Nepal's new-ball attack had played an important part in dismissing Jersey for 174 in the 45th over. Mahaboob Alam took 1 for 8 in six overs and Binod Das took 1 for 20, creating pressure which was maintained by the other bowlers. Opener Dean Morrison played a slow and steady innings of 62 off 112 balls but got no support from his team-mates. Only one other player, Samuel de la Haye (38), got past 20.
"We've many more games to come and we need to improve on our batting and bowling," Khadka said. "I feel we lacked intensity in some places and I'll be looking for the guys to take it up a notch tomorrow against Singapore."
Formidable batting and incisive bowling from the USA crushed Fiji by 285 runs in Lalitpur. Fiji won the toss and put USA in, a decision they came to regret as all of the top and middle-order batsmen, barring opener Carl Wright, contributed to post 353 for 8. Steve Massiah's 74 was the top score but the innings got its final thrust from Rashard Marshall, who smashed 61 off 28 balls with eight fours and four sixes. Timroy Allen also made 32 off 17 balls. Fiji bowler Josefa Dabea took four wickets but conceded 84 in eight overs. Fiji were always going to struggle to chase such a target but they didn't even come close, collapsing for 68 in 28 overs. Dabea, who made 13, was the only batsman to get into double figures. Kevin Darlington, with 3 for 9 in six overs, and Imran Awan, who took 3 for 16, were USA's best bowlers.
"It was a positive start - just the start we were looking for," Massiah said. "I felt very good - it is always good to get some runs and hopefully I can continue this form. Our aim was to get above 300 and we wanted to get four or five partnerships of 50 or more. It was a terrific batting performance. The bowling was disciplined and very professional. We aimed to create pressure and we did that very well."
Singapore thumped Bahrain by 126 runs at the Tribhuvan University International Cricket Ground to begin their World Cricket League Division Five campaign on a high. Opting to bat, Singapore were given an encouraging start by openers Buddika Mendis and Chetan Suryawanshi who put on 95. However, Bahrain then hit back, courtesy Adil Hanif, Tahir Dar and Zafar Zaheer who grabbed seven wickets between them to limit Singapore to a chaseable 224 for 8. But their batsmen simply failed to measure up to Singapore's determined bowling display, as Anish Param and Jackie Manoj-Kumar, both left-arm spinners, grabbed three wickets each to skittle out Bahrain for 98.
"Winning your initial games is so important so I was very happy that we won today on a wicket that had turn, even though it was on the slow side," Singapore coach Marvan Atapattu said. "To win by 126 runs is a remarkable achievement. Playing in front of live television cameras is one thing but playing in front of large crowds is a another thing here, as you don't get too many people watching cricket back home in Singapore. I hope that they will continue to enjoy it, especially when we play Nepal."