Nepal secures ICC’s ODI status, historic achievement for Nepal cricket team

Kathmandu: Nepal secured a historic International Cricket Council’s One Day International status for next four years after the Netherlands defeated Hong Kong in other play-off games of the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifiers on Thursday.

Earlier, Nepal sealed an emphatic victory over Papua New Guinea after man of the match Dipendra Singh bagged four wickets before returning to notch 50 not out runs to take his team home.

In head-to-head encounter with Hong Kong, earlier, Nepal had defeated them by 5-wicket with 56 balls to spare in the final fixture of the ICC World Cup Qualifiers.

After achieving a historic feat, Nepali Skipper Paras Khadka thanked all the well wishers and supporters of Nepali Cricket despite failing to reach super six stage of the qualifiers in Zimbabwe.

It’s an incredible achievement for team like Nepal for obtaining ODI with negligible cricketing infrastructures and facilities.

Before leaving for Zimbabwe, PM Oli had assured team Nepal of completing Mulpani-based cricket stadium on time and forming cricket board in the country.

Today’s achievement has surely and certainly mounted pressure on government to build Mulpani cricket stadium on time as Nepal would be playing home and away fixtures for the next fours.

In today’s earlier fixture against the PNG in first semi-finals of the play off game, Nepal won the toss and elected to field first before wrapping up PNG’s innings for a paltry 114 runs.

Nepal’s star leg spinner Sandeep Lamichanne triggered PNG’s collapse after snaring four wickets before part time spinner Dipendra Singh Airee returned to fold the inning with tail wickets.

All up, Nepal just required 27.2 overs to fold PNG’s inning for 114 runs before returning to cantered the chase in just 23 overs with six wickets in hand.

PNG’s Charles Amini top scored for 19 runs in 18 balls with a single boundary. Dipendra Singh Airee was pick of the Nepali bowler with 4.2-0-14-4.

Nepal’s top order batsmen poor form with the bat continued as out of form batsman Gyanendra Malla trudged early after scoring 1 runs chasing 115 runs for victory.

Another opener Anil Kumar Sah followed Malla to the pavilion leaving Nepal teetering 13-2 in 3 overs.

Skipper Paras Khadka, who was recently selected in ICC team, made whirlwind 20 runs in just 18 balls with two fours and a towering six over over long on region before falling to Reva caught by Ura in the deep mid wicket region while trying to up the ante.

Dipendra Singh Airee and Aarif Sheikh combined for 67 runs partnership before Sheikh trapped leg before the wicket by Vanua for 26 runs leaving Nepal 13 runs short of target.

Dipendra Singh Airee hit a cracking six over deep mid wicket region to take his team home before notching his personal milestone.

Later, Dipendra Singh Airee was adjudged man of the match for his match winning performance.

Nepal’s rise to the fame have been a roller coaster ride as they clinched nail biting and nerve breaking victories in ICC World Cricket League Division II before securing their passage to the Qualifiers.