Nepal edge home in tense chase
Nepal made hard work of a 159-run chase against Netherlands in Windhoek, but an unbeaten 24 from Sharad Vesawkar guided the team past the finish line with two wickets and three deliveries to spare. Nepal lost their first two wickets inside three overs, but Paras Khadka (19) shared 30-plus stands for the next two wickets with Subash Khakurel and Binod Bhandari to keep the score ticking.
Bhandari, who blasted a 30-ball 35, was the team's top scorer, but his dismissal in the 28th over opened the door slightly for Netherlands, as Nepal soon found themselves struggling at 113 for 7. However, Vesawkar and Sompal Kami came to the team's rescue, joining hands for an eighth-wicket association which yielded 33 crucial runs. Kami eventually fell for 24, having stroked three fours, but Vesawkar stayed till the end to win the game. Vesawkar's 24 came off 53 balls and did not feature a single four, but importantly, he kept Nepal on course for the target with singles and twos. For Netherlands, Ahsan Malik was the pick of the bowlers, collecting 2 for 25.
Earlier, Netherlands, opting to bat, had been restricted to 158. A 50-run, sixth-wicket stand between Stephan Myburgh and Michael Rippon (53) helped the team recover from a shaky start, but it made little difference as only three batsmen could reach double digits. Kami, Khadka, Basant Regmi and Shakti Gauchan took two wickets apiece, as Netherlands were bundled out in 49.5 overs.
Aggressive half-centuries by Navneet Dhaliwal and Rizwan Cheema were instrumental in Canada posting a strong total in their second WCL Division Two match, before Parth Desai picked up four wickets to help the team beat Kenya comfortably.
Cheema kick-started the Canada innings with a couple of boundaries in the fifth over, before accelerating even more, with two sixes in the sixth over. While his partner Nitish Kumar was content with playing out dots, Cheema went on to complete his half-century in the ninth over, off only 27 balls. He was soon dismissed for 57, but the initial tempo helped Canada play patiently during the middle overs. Then Dhaliwal provided the late spurt, hitting six four and four sixes in his 109-ball stay. He was dismissed in the last over of the innings, seven short of his century.
Kenya's chase of 258 was off to a poor start as they lost their openers within six overs. Collins Obuya and Irfan Karim added 95 runs for the third wicket to revive the team's chances, but as the required rate shot up, Kenya could not prevent regular fall of wickets. Their lower middle order crumbled against Desai and the team was bowled out for 211 in the 48th over.
A solid half-century from Gerhard Erasmus held together Namibia's chase and helped them beat Uganda by four wickets in their second World Cricket League Division Two match in Windhoek. Erasmus was the only batsman across both teams to cross 50. He was in the middle early as Nambia lost their first wicket in the third over, but he added a useful 50 for the third wicket with Craig Williams to stabilise the innings.
Erasmus was dismissed in the 35th over, with Namibia still 60 adrift of their target, but Sarel Burger ensured there were no hiccups. Burger scored a patient 71-ball 37 and was unbeaten when Namibia completed the chase, with 3.4 overs to spare.
Uganda had opted to bat but were in trouble in the 13th over, after they had lost three wickets. A 64-run stand between Phillemon Mukobe and Brian Masaba revived the innings, but regular strikes from the bowlers meant Uganda lost their last six wickets for 70 runs to finish on 188 in 50 overs. Bjorn Kotze was the most successful bowler for Namibia with 3 for 34.