Nepal scored its lowest total of 53 runs in T20I on Monday when it faced eight wickets’ humiliating defeat against co-host Northern Ireland in the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier’s Group A match. However, this is the first defeat of Nepal in the three match.
Earlier, Nepal had scored 69 runs against the Netherlands on July 1 when it faced the highest, 103-run, defeat during four-match T20I series at the VRA Ground in Amstelveen, Netherlands.
The lowest total also exposed Nepal’s batting woes as it was bowled out on 53 runs in 14.3 overs by defending champion in the Group A’s third match at Stormont, Belfast in Northern Ireland.
The total of 53-run scored by Nepal is the second lowest score in the short format. Netherlands holds the record of the lowest total of 39 runs against Sri Lanka played last year.
Opener Sagar Pun (20 runs off 18 balls) and skipper ParasKhadka (10 off 16) were the only two who reached double digit score for Nepal.
SharadVesawkar (6 off 10), Rajesh Pulami (6 off 15), Anil Mandal (2 off 9), GyanendraMalla (2 off 7) and BasantRegmi (2 off 4) were also on score sheet, while PradeepAiree, BinodBhandari and Shakti Gauchan were duck out.
Irish bowlers Stuart Thompson and Kevin O’Brien bagged three wickets each to restrict Nepal to its lowest total.
Nepal, which adopted attacking approach with bat, started its inning in an impressive manner as it put 18 runs within two overs with Sagar’s three boundaries.
Nepal’s started facing pressure after Anil was caught by Kevin off Alex Cusack in the third over followed by Pradeep’s wicket in the next over by John Mooney. After two overs Mooney claimed Sagar’s wicket also leaving Nepal’s batting innings in trouble.
Craig Yong claimed Nepali skipper Paras Khadka’s wickt in the ninth over. Before getting back to pavilion Paras was able to hit a boundary. Later Stuart and Kevin sent tail-enders back to pavilion.
Ireland completed 54 runs target in eight overs losing two wickets after Paul Stirling (29 runs off 21 balls) shared 49 runs stand for the second wicket with William Porterfield, who remained not out on 18 runs facing 20 balls.
Nepal’s Sompal Kami had bagged both of the Irish wickets. He gave Nepal early break-through by claiming the Irish opener Niall O-Brien’s (3 off 6) wicket in the second over. Despite the early breakthrough, Nepali bowling line up could not break Paul and William’s partnership until they had secured ground for the home team’s victory. Sompal was able to book Paul’s wicket in the fifth ball of the seventh over when Ireland needed only one run to win the match.
With the match, co-host Ireland now leads the table with six points with three wins, while Nepal went down to fourth position with three points from three matches. Nepal defeated USA by six wickets in its first match on Friday but shared a point with Namibia in its second match on Saturday.
Papua New Guinea and Namibia are in second and third positions respectively with three points following superior net run-rate.
Nepal will face Hong Kong in its fourth match of Group A on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong and Papua New Guinea as part of the Group A match today shared a point each after the match was washed out following the incessant rain at the Bready Cricket Club of Magheramason, Bready in Northern Ireland.
After sharing points PNG collected three points from two matches, while Hong Kong has one point from two matches.