Nepal lose a nail-biter against Ireland to finish 8th in the ICC World Cup Qualifier

ICC World Cup Qualifier
Nepali players celebrate taking a wicket against Ireland on July 4, 2023. Photo: CAN

Kathmandu, July 5

Nepal lost a nail-biter against Ireland to finish eighth in the ongoing ICC World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe on Tuesday.

Nepal pushed Ireland, a full-member cricketing nation, to their limit as they barely chased 269 with two wickets and four balls remaining.

Winning the toss, the Irish put Nepal to bat first. Nepali batters started the game cautiously but lost opener Kushal Bhurtel in the power play. The batters that followed struggled to get going despite getting starts which reduced Nepal to 103 for four.

It was looking like Nepal would not post a par score but handy innings from Kushal Malla, Sandeep Lamichhane and Gulshan Jha took Nepal to a respectable score. Malla scored 44 while Lamichhane and Jha score 32 and 57 respectively as Nepal finished 268 in 50 overs.

In reply, the Irish got off to a horrible start losing Andy McBrine and Andy Balbirnie in the first five overs. Like Nepali batters, the Irish also struggled but matured innings from Hary Tector, Lorcan Tucker and Curtis Campher helped take the scoreboard forward. There was a time when it looked like the Irish would win comfortably but timely wickets by Nepali bowler gave the team hope of an upset. But the Irish proved too good as they narrowly beat Nepal with two wickets and four balls to spare.

Karan KC was superb with the ball taking four wickets, as was Kishore Mahato who picked up two wickets.

With the loss, Nepal finished eighth out of ten teams in the qualifiers.

The team will now play in the ACC Emerging Teams Asia Cup in Sri Lanka which is starting on July 14 where they will take on India A, Pakistan A and the UAE.

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