World Cricket League Division 3, final May 5, 2013

Airee, Vesawkar carry Nepal to Div 3 title

ESPNcricinfo staff
58

Nepal might have had a shaky start to their World Cricket League Division 3 campaign in Bermuda, but they finished on a high, beating Uganda, the group toppers in the round-robin stage, by five wickets in Sunday's final to snatch the title. A twin success then, with the victory coming a day after they thumped Italy and had other results go in their favour to ensure their passage into the World Cup Qualifiers next year.

The final, in Hamilton, was a low-scoring one. Uganda chose to bat and were shaken straightaway, with Nepal's captain Paras Khadka removing opener Arthur Kyobe for one. They crawled along, and lost their top four cheaply, to be tottering at 39 for 4 by the end of the 22nd over. A series of cameos from the middle order helped get them past the 150-run mark, but they could never quite break the shackles until the last couple of overs, batting out the 50 for 151 for 8. Left-arm medium pacer Basanta Regmi finished with 2 for 24 from his ten, to end as the joint third-highest wicket-taker in the tournament.

Nepal's batsmen were shaky in reply, falling to 30 for 3 in the 11th. But a 77-run stand between opener Pradeep Airee and No. 5 Sharad Vesawkar got them back on track. They lost two more in a hurry when Airee was out to left-arm spinner Henry Ssenyondo for 60, but Vesawkar kept going in the company of Prithu Baskota - who captained Nepal at the Under-19 World Cup last year - to get them over the line. Vesawkar finished unbeaten on 50 and Nepal eventually won comfortably, with over 10 overs to spare.

Khadka said he was happy with the way his team kept fighting, despite losing their first two matches in the tournament. "We worked really hard for this. Having lost the first couple of games no one gave us an outright chance but we still believed in ourselves and our ability," he said. "Everything worked in favour of us and, as they say, fortune favours the brave. I feel glad, we have reached where we always wanted to, and now it is a matter of preparing ourselves for even better."

Expectedly, Uganda captain Davis Arinaitwe, who was named Player of the Series, was disappointed with the loss, but said the team had achieved their main goal: making it to the World Cup Qualifiers. "Ideally, I would have liked to finish the tournament on a high and pick up the final trophy of the whole tournament, and leave this beautiful island as WCL winners. But qualifying for the World Cup Qualifier was our primary objective. When we got here, we first put our sights on trying to qualify for that tournament. So, for us, that is an achievement that we can take back home."

The World Cup Qualifiers will be played in New Zealand in January 2014. Prior to that, there's the World Twenty20 Qualifier in November in Dubai, and both captains said their teams' focus would not shift to that tournament. "Before the World Cup Qualifier, we have the World Twenty20 Qualifier and that's an equally important tournament," Khadka said. "Preparation-wise, we have to have a strategic plan from now on because it is a big step - one more step and you are in the main global tournament. So we have to think from that perspective."

Arinaitwe said: "We'll get back home, take a short break, then resume the training as usual as we try to prepare for the World Twenty20 Qualifier."

USA, meanwhile, beat host Bermuda by 30 runs to place third in the division. Their total of 271 was set up by a rapid 97 from opener Steven Talyor - comfortably the tournament's top-scorer - and an anchoring 72 from Orlando Baker. Offspinner Muhammad Ghous then took four middle-order wickets to ensure Bermuda fell short in the chase.

In the fifth-place playoff, Oman beat Italy by five wickets. After Munis Ansari, who topped the tournament's wickets chart, claimed a four-for - albeit in an expensive spell - to help bowl out Italy for 207, the top and middle order built around a brisk 64 from Zeeshan Siddiqui to take the side to victory with over five overs to spare.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • dummy4fb on May 12, 2013, 9:14 GMT

    its a natoin with emerging talent,watch out test playing nations NEPAL is making its way towards you.

  • dummy4fb on May 8, 2013, 3:21 GMT

    we nepali are slowly climbing ladders of world cricket.one day we will be at the top as we have highest peak of world mount everst. we want to see nepali cricket in that highest peak of world cricket.aayo hai gorkhali

  • Surajdon9 on May 7, 2013, 8:28 GMT

    Many many congratulations! It's a damn good start for the next round. World cricket lovers are watching Nepal with a great expectation. We should start investing in infrastructures and practice even harder to achieve more. Also, Nepal can provide an intermediary destination for India, Pakistan and others as well and earn much more from sports alone if there are good cricket grounds because of its favorable weather and loving people.

  • NeupaneSantosh on May 7, 2013, 5:52 GMT

    Yeah, what a performance fro Nepal? Very glad to see my friends wining WCL Division-3 against Uganda taking revenge of lose beared in group stage. Well done guys. Ready to fight with Test playing Nations. JAY NEPAL!!

  • dummy4fb on May 7, 2013, 0:34 GMT

    Congratulation !!!! This was a dream which whole cricket lover's of Nepal are expecting year after year but couldnot till then.... now we got door to wc qualify round at least .So ,We felt gratitude to our true National Heroes who brings smile n hope to hear such things in future also.Once more Hats off !!to whole team management n players

  • dummy4fb on May 7, 2013, 0:32 GMT

    the next big thing in cricket: nepal...

  • dummy4fb on May 6, 2013, 17:02 GMT

    Proud to be Nepali , we are having like a cricket festival in our country. Both senior and junior cricket doing well.

  • dummy4fb on May 6, 2013, 14:59 GMT

    WOW! What a tournament.!!! Full of twists and turns... just like a super hit thriller movie! hopes, disappointment, fear, expectations, drama all thing was there... I think besides Italy all the 5 teams had equal chances and capable... feeling sorry for USA and Oman,, especially for Oman who defeated unbeaten Uganda and not only that they gave a very tough competition to every teams played with them but at the end they could not manage to avoid the relegation which is really tragic moment for them...

  • dummy4fb on May 6, 2013, 14:44 GMT

    if there is any thing in NEPAL that gives HAPPINESS to all NEPALESE then its none other than CRICKET...the political instability in the country has made people so depressed and dissapionted to live in the county..but these cricketer guys have made us proud...CHAMPION of div 2..CONGRATULATION and ALL THE BEST for up coming games

  • dummy4fb on May 6, 2013, 13:55 GMT

    Though I am extremely happy for my country's win in 4th major trophy out of 5 finals in a row, I can't help but be sad as this is the last possible opportunity for all the non-test teams to have something to play for in ODIs. Everyone plays for and manages their teams for the next World Cup and from 2015 onwards, others teams won't get much realistic chance and ICC obviously seems to have no interest in bilateral series between non-test nations.

    So here's hoping these surges of cricket from these teams help ICC realise they need better planning to involve all nations and not just the "big 10".