Nepal bags consolation win as Ireland claims T20 series

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By A Staff Reporter,Kathmandu, Apr. 2: Nepal ‘A’ bagged a consolation win as the Ireland Wolves claimed the T20 series by 2-1 at Kirtipur on Monday. 

After losing two consecutive matches against the Irish by 21-run and 40-run respectively, Nepal’s second tier was under pressure to end the series at least with the win.

Nevertheless, Nepal ‘A’ struggled to a nail-biting 3-run victory after limiting the tourists to 210 runs at TU Cricket Ground. 

In the case of a 214-run victory target, the Wolves lost seven wickets in the 20 overs. 

Bipin Khatri was the pick of the bowler for Nepal with his three-wicket haul. 

The visitors needed 20 runs off the last over but managed to collect only 16 runs. They needed five runs in the last ball but Rashid Khan conceded only a run to cruise Nepal home.  

Spinner Bipin led the bowling onslaught for Nepal ‘A’ by picking three top-order batters. He dismissed Opener James McCollum (7) and Ross Adair to put a brake on the visitors’ aggressive start in the fourth over. Ross cracked five boundaries and one six for his cameo of 14-ball 31. Peter Moor (2) fell victim to Bipin’s spin in the sixth over. Captain Neil Rock (2) also returned to the dugout falling prey to the ball of Narayan Joshi in 8th over as the Wolves tottered to 52/4. 

The visitors, however, returned to the game with Morgan Topping and Gareth Delany pairing for the 129-run for the fifth wicket stand. Rashid Khan broke the partnership by picking Morgan in the 18th over. 

Morgan chipped in 60 runs off 37 balls including four towering sixes and four fences. Gareth, soon followed Morgan, as Kamal Airee trapped him leg before in the second ball of the 19th over and 183 runs on the board. 

Fionn Hand threatened the host with his quick-fire 7-ball 22 but was run out in the penultimate ball.

Bipin finished with a figure of 3-23 with one maiden over. Kamal, Narayan and Rashid took one wicket each for the home side. 

Earlier, Nepal rode on the career-best 93 runs off Aarif Sheikh to post a total of 213 runs losing seven wickets after being invited to bat first. 

Aarif steadied the innings of Nepal from 33-3 to the end of the first innings. His not-out 93 runs include seven boundaries and six maximums off 48 deliveries. Opener Lokesh Bam (8), Dev Khanal (6) and Captain Binod Bhandari (11) made their way to the tent in the first five overs. 

He put on a partnership with Basir Ahamad for the 57-run for the fourth wicket. Basir was lbw out after collecting 19 runs in the 11th over. Pawan Sarraf (13), Narayan Joshi (1) made their stay short on the crease. Aarif then paired with Rashid for the 46 runs. Rashid hit 3 sixes for his 13-ball 24 and was caught in 17.4 overs. Kamal remained not out with 7-ball 19. 

Fionn picked two wickets while Liam McCarthy, Matthew Foster, Gareth and Gavin Hoey dismissed one batter each.

Both the team will now log their heads for the three-match One Day series from Wednesday.

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