Nepal Minute - out of the ordinary


Nepal pulled off a thrilling two-wicket victory over Scotland on Tuesday to wrap up the ICC World Cup League 2 triangular ODI series with perfect eight points. 

Put into bat, Scotland made 212 in 46.1 overs at the TU Cricket Ground. Nepal were staring at a defeat with the score reading 138-8 in 31.5 overs before captain Rohit Paudel and Karan KC held their nerves, adding 75 runs for the ninth wicket to secure a victory in 44.1 overs. 

Nepal had a dismal start, losing three wickets with just 34 runs on the board. Opener Kushal Bhurtel fell for one run in the second game in a row. He was trapped leg before by Mark Watt.

Asif Sheikh and Gyanendra Malla also failed to stay long at the crease. Sheikh fell to McMullen for 12 and Malla became the second victim of Watt in the match, out lbw for 21 runs from 30 balls. 

Dipendrasingh Airee and Paudel then added 44 runs for the sixth wicket before the former was bowled by Graves for seven runs. Chris Graves bowled Kushal Malla for 17 runs. 

Watt claimed his second victim in Sompal Kami, who fell for two runs and Safyaan Sarif removed Sandeep Lamichhane for nine runs to leave Nepal in deep trouble at 138-8.

Paudel knocked off the winning runs to finish not out on 95 from 101 balls, hitting seven fours and four sixes. KC made 31 not out with two fours and a six.

Watt was the most successful Scottish bowler, taking three wickets for 29 runs, while Graves picked up two. 

Earlier, Scotland got off to a decent start, as openers George Munsey and Kyle Coetzer put on 42 runs in 7.5 overs.

Lamichhane, operating from the TU end, gave Nepal a breakthrough, trapping Coetzer plumb for 22 runs as he tried to sweep.

With in-form Munsey dictating terms, Scotland raced to 89-1 in 13.4 overs and were set for a 250-plus score. He hit three consecutive boundaries of Lamichhane in the 14th over to complete 60 runs. But the Nepali leg-spinner bowled him in the fifth ball to apply the brakes on the Scottish charge. 

He then trapped Scotland captain Richie Berrington leg before in the next ball for a duck. Matthew Cross safely negotiated the first ball of the 16th over to steal two runs to deny Lamichhane a hat-trick.

Kushal Malla dismissed Christopher McBride lbw for 22 runs in the 21st over. In the next over, Lamichhane got Tom Mackintosh caught by Sandeep Zora for one run.

Matthew Cross and Brandon McMullen rebuilt the Scottish innings, adding 57 runs for the sixth wicket. Cross threatened to take the game away from the hosts, showing judicious aggression. Only a brilliant piece of fielding from Dipendrasingh Airee saw him short of his grounds on 42 runs off 63 balls with the help of four fours and a six. 

Michael Leask, who scored a century against Nepal in the first match of this series, was bowled cheaply by Karan KC to leave Scotland on 175-7. 

Lamichhane then removed McMullen for 31 runs off 48 balls to finish with figures of 4-45 in 10 overs. KC took three wickets for 42 runs in 8.1 overs.

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