Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 February 2020

WCL2: Nepal lose first ever home ODI by 18 runs against Oman

Thousands of spectators are in attendance to watch the home side

Oman broke Nepali hearts as they won the first one-day international played in Kathmandu by 18 runs.

Captain Zeeshan Maqsood led the way with three wickets with the ball, as Nepal were bowled out for 179 in the 47th over.

Sharad Vesawkar anchored the chase for the home team with 55, but their hopes were as good as ended when he was bowled by Aaqib Ilyas.

Earlier, Mohammed Nadeem had played the pivotal innings. His 69 not out hoisted the tourists from 57-5 to what was eventually a challenging total of 197-9 from their 50 overs.

Karan KC took 4-47, and Sushan Bhari 3-14 from 10 overs of left-arm spin.

The win moves Oman to within two points of United States at the top of the Cricket World Cup League Two.

Those two sides meet in the second match of the triangular series, at the same ground on Thursday.

Report from Oman innings

Nepal will have to make 198 if they are to win their first one-day international on home soil.

The home side restricted Oman to 197 for nine from their 50 overs in Kathmandu, with Mohammed Nadeem making a fine counter-attacking half-century.

Sushan Bhari was the outstanding performer for the hosts, as he took three for 14 off 10 overs of probing left-arm spin.

Chasing the target is by no means a given, on a pitch that appears to be very testing for batsmen. One thing is guaranteed, though: the hosts will be backed all the way by a crowd numbering in the thousands.

The Tribhuvan University ground was abuzz since way before play got going in Nepal’s opening match in the Cricket World Cup League Two.

Nepal won the toss and opted to bowl on a fresh morning where spectators could see their own breath, and many players warmed up wearing beanies.

Karan KC bowled the first ball as Nepal became the 36th country to host full ODI cricket – and he might have had a wicket, too, as he beat the inside edge of Jatinder Singh’s bat.

The burly fast bowler did not have to wait long to account for his man, though, as he clean bowled the Oman opener with the last ball of the first over.

Karan should have had a second shortly after, when he dropped a simple caught and bowled opportunity off Aaqib Ilyas.

Again, his disappointment was merely short-lived, as he reinforced his side’s strong start by having Khawar Ali caught at the wicket.

Quicksilver fielding by Dipendra Singh Airee accounted for Ilyas in the 13th over. Oman’s vice-captain attempted a sharp single to the cover fielder, but was run out by a direct hit.

That left the away side on 39 for three.

Mohammed Nadeem and Sandeep Goud stemmed the flow of Oman wickets, but their side are still some way short of where they would like to be, thanks to the excellence of Bhari.

The 24-year-old slow-bowler first trapped Oman’s captain Zeeshan Maqsood lbw for 20, then had Suraj Kumar caught for a duck two balls later.

Oman were reeling on 57 for five at that point, before Nadeem and Goud shared 50 for the sixth wicket, only for Bhari to then dismiss Goud.

Nadeem was joined in the resistance by Naseem Khushi, who hit two big sixes as he made 28 in 18 balls.

Nadeem marshalled the tail brilliantly, finishing unbeaten on 69.

Updated: February 5, 2020 08:05 PM

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