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By Peter Della Penna in Kuala Lumpur (on Twitter)
Scorecard powered by the New Inning Foundation I Match Commentary
Left-arm spinner Basant Regmi took five wickets for the second
consecutive match against USA to catapult Nepal to an eight-wicket win
in the 2012 ICC WCL Division Four championship match on Monday at
Kinrara Academy Oval in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Just three days after
Regmi took 5 for 35 in a 32-run win over USA, he claimed 5 for 20 to
help bowl out USA for 145 before Nepal chased the runs for the loss of
two wickets in 28 overs. Not only was Regmi named Man of the Match, but
he also walked away with the award for Player of the Tournament after
taking a tournament-best 21 wickets in six matches at an average of 6.66
and an economy rate of 2.80.
“Mentally we thought we had some momentum going into the game from
our win against Singapore yesterday but the end result was something
different,” USA vice-captain Sushil Nadkarni said after the match. “I
think it’s a combination of tiredness as well as the ability to play
good spin bowling. I think the Nepal guys are good spinners and the guys
in our team, some of them are more used to playing fast bowling than
USA won the toss and batted first on a day that was overcast to start
with but turned clear and sunny as the match wore on. Nepal fielded an
unchanged lineup from the win over USA in the group stage while USA made
three changes to their starting eleven from Sunday’s win over
Singapore. Aditya Thyagarajan was out injured while Andy Mohammed and
Akeem Dodson were subbed out in favor of Aditya Mishra, Orlando Baker
and Abhimanyu Rajp.
USA’s best partnership of the day went for just 39 runs as they
looked tired and overmatched against Nepal’s fresh and energetic
fielding unit. Steven Taylor opened the batting with Mishra but just as
he did on Friday, Taylor fell in the fifth over to Sanjam Regmi, this
time playing onto his stumps for 11 to make it 16 for 1.
Despite the fact that he was the only player in the USA squad who had
yet to face a single delivery in a match on tour, off-spinner Rajp was
bizarrely sent in to bat at number three. He lasted just six deliveries
before edging medium pacer Binod Das behind to wicketkeeper Subash
Khakurel for a duck to make it 17 for 2.
Nadkarni arrived and has he has done all tour long provided some
stability to proceedings and built up a steady partnership with Mishra.
They added 39 runs for the third wicket but just when it appeared they
were steering USA out of trouble, Mishra skipped down the track and
lofted Basant to Pradeep Airee at long off to go for 28. Steve Massiah
came in and departed without scoring when he spooned a catch to Amrit
Bhattarai at mid off to give Paras Khadka a wicket at 57 for 4 in 19
Baker entered and the veteran knuckled down with Nadkarni to grind
out runs against the Nepal spin attack which was making excellent use of
a turning track. They added 26 together before Nadkarni got out in
uncharacteristic fashion, pulling left arm spinner Shakti Gauchan to
Bhattarai at deep square leg for 39 to make it 83 for 5 in the 28th
over. Nadkarni finished as the tournament’s leading scorer with 238 runs
in five matches at an average of 47.60.
Timroy Allen joined Baker and the two built a methodical partnership
to take USA to 98 for 5 when the batting power play was taken to start
the 36th. Allen cracked the fourth ball of the over for a boundary,
USA’s first since the 24th over, but on the very next delivery he was
hit on the back leg in front of the stumps and given LBW for 10 to make
it 104 for 6.
Ryan Corns entered at eight and fought hard with Baker to extend the
USA innings through all 50 overs. He added 33 runs for the seventh
wicket with Baker before driving Basant to Gyanendra Malla at cover to
leave for 9 and make it 137 for 7. Two balls later, Baker tried to flick
a short ball through the leg side and sent a leading edge back to
Basant for 39 to put USA at 138 for 8 in 45 overs.
Basant removed Elmore Hutchinson for 2 with his second successful LBW
appeal of the day in the 47th to make it 141 for 9 and then wrapped up
the innings on the first ball of the 49th by winning a third LBW
decision to claim Usman Shuja for 2 with USA all out for 145. Nepal’s
innings in the field was especially impressive because they conceded
just one extra, a leg bye.
Nepal had a brief hiccup at the start of the chase, losing Anil
Mandal for 3 when he drove Hutchinson to Massiah at cover to make it 9
for 1 in the third. Khakurel was then joined by Malla and they added 93
runs for the second wicket as Nepal cruised toward the target. Malla
played a free spirited and enterprising knock, successfully connecting
on numerous reverse sweeps over the off side, including one that went
for six, before crashing USA’s spinners down the ground for two more
sixes. He brought up his 50 in 53 balls and eventually finished with 66
before finally perishing to the reverse sweep as Muhammad Ghous knocked
back leg stump to make it 102 for 2 in the 20th.
Khadka entered and took just 8.2 more overs to finish the job with
Khakurel. Khadka hit the winning runs through cover to finish 25 not out
and cap an undefeated run to the tournament title. They’re the first
team to go 6-0 at a World Cricket League tournament since the UAE did it
at Division Two in 2011.
Image (above) - Some of the more than 100 Nepal fans in
attendance celebrate with the players after Nepal received the World
Cricket League championship silver. [Courtesy: Peter Della
Both USA and Nepal now progress
to 2013 ICC WCL Division Three in Bermuda from April 28-May 5. Denmark
and Singapore stay in Division Four, which won’t be played again until
2014. Malaysia and Tanzania drop down to Division Five which is also due
to be held in 2014 where they join Guernsey and Cayman Islands.
In the other playoff matches on Monday, Singapore beat Denmark in the
third place game by five wickets after bowling them out for 83 at
Selangor Turf Club. In the fifth place match, Malaysia beat Tanzania for
the second day in a row, winning by five wickets after chasing down