CWC League 2: Namibia end Nepal’s home streak

CWC League 2

Kathmandu, February 15

Nepal’s ICC Cricket World Cup League 2 (CWC League 2) campaign got off to a poor start as they lost their opening match against Namibia by four wickets at the TU Cricket Ground on Thursday.

With this loss, Nepal’s 15-match* unbeaten run on home soil has also come to an end.

Losing the toss and being asked to bat first, Nepal got off to a nightmarish start as Kushal Bhurtel was out the first ball of the match chasing a wide ball from Ruben Trumpelmann. That was a sign of things to come for Nepal as the batters continued to throw their wickets away.

Anil Kumar Sah missed a straight one from Trumpelmann while Aasif Sheikh chipped Jack Brassell straight to the throat of short mid-on as Nepal were reduced to 13 for three in the fourth over.

The Namibia bowlers kept pressuring the Nepali batters as captain Rohit Paudel chopped on and Nepal were in a spot of bother. Bhim Sharki and Kushal Malla tried to settle the innings, but Malla threw his wicket away as Namibia’s captain Gerhard Erasmus’s part-time spin caused havoc for Nepal’s middle order.

Sharki, who scored a century against Canada in the third ODI of the bilateral series continued his fine form but was trapped between the wickets by Erasmus as Nepal’s hope for a competitive score ended then and there.

Gulshan Jha, Pawan Sarraf and Karan KC all tried to take Nepal closer to the 200 mark but failed as the hosts were bundled out for 132, their lowest total at home.

CWC League 2
Lalit Rajbanshi celebrates taking a wicket against Namibia at the TU Cricket Ground on February 15, 2024.

In reply, Namibia started cautiously. Even though Lalit Rajbanshi picked up two wickets and the spin of Paudel and Sarraf kept the scoring in check, they could not pick up regular wickets. Sompal Kami did his best in his second spell picking up three wickets and blowing the game open reducing Namibia to 84 for five.

But a superb 31-run cameo from Jan Nicol Loftie-Eaton took Namibia home giving Nepal their first defeat in well over a year.

Nepal will take on the Netherlands in their second match of the CWC League 2 on Saturday.

*Correction: The news mentioned Nepal’s 14-match unbeaten run had ended. But this was Nepal’s first ODI loss at home in 15 matches that dated back to November 2022.

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