Canada loses nail-biter to Nepal, miss out on final
Canada played Nepal in their final round-robin match at WCL Division 2 at what was effectively a semi-final. Canada, put in to bat made 194/8, thanks mostly to the first century of the tournament from Srimantha Wijeratne who carried his bat for 103. Canada seemed to have the match won when Nepal had 9 wickets down still needing 33, but a brilliant 42 from number 10 Karan KC saw them to a last ball win, taking them to the final. Nepal and UAE not only play the final but will play in the World Cup qualifier in Zimbabwe in March.
Canada lost the toss and were put in to bat. Gunasekera and Wijeratne made a steady start against good bowling, until was caught at cover – 46/1 in the 11th over. Canada then lost Kumar for 5, and Pathirana for 2, both to Nepal’s star leg spinner Lamichhane. Wijeratne reached his fifty with a boundary (78 balls, made out of 78), but wickets continued to fall, Dhaliwal for 4 and Hamza Tariq for 24. With 10 overs to go Canada were 150/5. Saad Bin Zafar was leg before for 10 then Dutta was run out without scoring, and Heyliger was bowled for a duck as 155/5 became 161/8. Wijeratne was still there, reaching his hundred (the first of the tournament) with a scoop for four from the last ball of the 49th over. Canada finished with 194/8, Wijeratne 103 and Dhindsa 18.
In reply, Nepal made a slow start against some good bowling from Canada’s openers but kept their wickets intact until the 6th over, when Malla pulled a short ball from Cecil Pervez to short mid-wicket, where Kumar took a brilliant catch. Next ball, Nepal’s captain Khadka skied a pull to cover and Nepal were 22/2. Nath and Airee put on fifty before Pervez struck again, caught behind. The fourth wicket went to another brilliant catch, this time from Nicholas Kirton, on as substitute fielder, diving to snag a cut shot off Saad Bin Zafar – 73/4. With rain threatening, Saad Bin Zafar caught Airee off his own bowling – 81/5. Neapl kept in the game through a 46 run partnership between 20 year old Aarif Sheikh and 15 year old Rohit Paudel, weathering a rain break (with no reduction of overs) and taking the score to 127 before Dhindsa had Paudel caught at mid-on. Saad Bin Zafar finished his 10 overs conceding just 26 runs and 2 wickets. With ten overs left Nepal needed 56 runs. Another good catch, this time from Gunasekera at short mid wicket off Dutta’s bowling had Nepal 7 down in the 41st over. Dillon Heyliger had Regmi caught behind in the next over – 144/8. Duuta had Aarif Sheikh stumped 3 balls later and Canada were on the brink of victory. Number 10 Karan KC had other ideas, and hitting a couple of sixes kept Nepal close. With two overs left, Nepal needed 21. A six and a four from the 49th over swung the match Nepal’s way, needing just 8 from the last. Cecil Pervez bowled four perfect yorkersl eaving Nepal needing eight from two balls, but Karan hit the 5th ball for 6, watched a leg side yorker called as a wide and tapped a single from the last ball for a Nepal win, and heartbreak for Canada.
Canada- Nepal scorecard
UAE made 247/6 in 50 overs against Namibia. Namibia were bowled out for 228. Canada will now play Namibia in the 3rd-4th place match.