Rain once again favored Nepal as it overcame USA by 10-run in the D/L method on Tuesday to climb atop the standings of the ICC World Cricket League Division 3 played at the Kinrara Academy Oval in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The win has almost confirmed Nepal´s promotion into Division 2 of the ICC event which sees top two teams securing elevation and vying for the title. It was the third win for Nepal in a row after going down against Uganda in the opener.
With last round league match remaining, Nepal moved up the summit of the table by the virtue of net run rate despite having equal six points as that of second placed Bermuda.
Both teams have won three and lost one matches each. Home team Malaysia and Singapore are on third and fourth sports with four points apiece and USA and Bermuda are in fifth and sixth positions with two points each.
Nepal takes on Malaysia in the last round robin match scheduled for Wednesday.
Rain again brought the match to a standstill at the end of 22nd over with 73/1 on board Wednesday as Nepal was chasing 224-run target set by USA. The match could not resume and Nepal gained an upper hand in the D/L calculation earning 10-run victory.
It was the rematch of Tuesday´s encounter between same opponents which had seen Nepal in a difficult situation losing early wickets. Nepal had lost three wickets — openers Subash Khakurel, Naresh Budayair and Gyanendra Malla — with 27 runs on board at the end of seventh over in its 205-run chase. However, the downpour turned to be boon for Nepal as the match was rescheduled for Wednesday.
Nepal had a shaky start in run chase of the rematch losing opener Naresh in the very first over with just one run on board. But Subash Khakurel consolidated the innings scoring unbeaten 49 runs. He partnered with vice captain Gyanendra Malla (22) for 72 runs with both of them remaining unbeaten.
Subash struck four fences in his patient knock of 82-balls and Gyanendra faced 47 deliveries before the match was called off. Subash struck two fours in the last (22nd) over,which turned crucial for Nepal´s win. Nepal had collected the highest nine runs in the over.
Earlier, USA made a sound start scoring 223/9 in the allotted 50 overs after winning the toss. Openers Steven Taylor (36) and Fahad Babar (59) came up with 64 run partnership for the first wicket before the former was sent to pavilion in 13.5 overs. Steve, who hit four boundaries and a six in his 41-ball knock, was caught by wicketkeeper Subash off Sagar Pun.
Fahad, the highest run scorer, hit four fours in his 114-ball knock before being bowled by Shakti Gauchan in the 36th over. Timil Patel contributed 39 runs off 50 deliveries.
Skipper Steve Massiah (16), Muhammad Ghous (not out 27) and Adil Bhatti (15) were other notable contributors for USA.
USA earned 35 runs in last four overs taking the score from 188/7 to 223/9 with the highest 15 runs coming from the last over.
Shakti Gauchan pocketed three wickets for Nepal followed by two each from Sagar Pun and Basanta Regmi. Shakti gave away 30 runs in his 10 over bowling. Basanta conceded 41 runs in his 10 over spell and Sagar gave 41 runs in his eight over spell.
In other rematch of Tuesday´s match played on Wednesday, Singapore edged past Bermuda by three wickets.
Winning the toss at Bayumas Oval, Selangor, Bermuda chose to bat first and was bowled out for 124 runs in 27.5 overs. Tailender Kamau Leverock (28) was the highest scorer for Bermuda.
Selladore Vijayakumar of Singapore bagged four wickets and Abhiraj Singh pocketed three.
In the run chase, Singapore achieved the target in 31.3 overs losing seven wickets. Opener Chaminda Ruwan made the work easier for Singapore scoring the highest 57 runs. He cracked 10 boundaries in his 65-ball knock.