Nepal Clinches Bilateral Series with Impressive Victory over Canada in Second ODI
Kathmandu- Nepal showcased their dominance in a thrilling encounter against Canada, securing a four-wicket triumph in the second one-day international (ODI) match held at the TU Cricket Ground.
With this win, Nepal sealed the three-match bilateral series, having emerged victorious in the first ODI by a narrow margin of seven runs just a few days earlier.
Chasing a target of 286 runs, Nepal exhibited remarkable resilience as they completed the chase in 45.1 overs, losing six wickets in the process. Notably, this successful chase marked one of the joint-highest ODI pursuits in Nepal's cricket history. Their previous record of chasing down a 286-run target was achieved during the ICC Cricket World Cup League 2 (2019-2023) against Namibia in February 2023, also on their home ground.
Opener Anil Sah emerged as the star performer for Nepal, smashing the fastest ODI half-century for his team. Surpassing the previous record set by Aasif Sheikh (21-ball 53) against Papua New Guinea in March the previous year, Sah raced to a fifty off just 19 deliveries. His aggressive innings comprised seven fours and three sixes, culminating in his first ODI half-century. However, Sah's innings came to an end when he was trapped leg before wicket by Ishwarjot Sohi.
Captain Rohit Paudel and Dev Khanal then built a formidable partnership of 150 runs for the third wicket, propelling Nepal to a comfortable position at 214-2. This partnership not only boosted Nepal's chances but also set a new record for their highest third-wicket stand in ODIs, surpassing the previous record of 133 runs set by Kushal Bhurtel and Rohit Paudel during their memorable chase against Namibia.
Khanal, who had captained the Nepal U-19 team to the Cricket World Cup in South Africa, showcased his batting prowess by scoring an impressive 76 runs from 81 balls, including seven boundaries and two maximums. Meanwhile, Paudel continued his fine form from the first ODI, scoring 87 runs from 101 deliveries before being dismissed by Canada captain Saad Bin Zafar in the 40.2 overs. Paudel's innings featured eight fours and four sixes, contributing significantly to Nepal's victory.
Bhim Sharki contributed a quickfire 23 runs from 21 balls, while Pawan Sarraf played a brief cameo of 14 runs off eight deliveries. In the end, Kushal Malla (9 not out) and Sompal Kami (9 not out) guided Nepal to a commendable total of 287-6.
Rohit Paudel, who had excelled with the ball in the first ODI, claiming figures of 4-22, was named the player-of-the-match for the second consecutive game.
Canada, after electing to bat first, posted a competitive total of 285-9. The foundation for their innings was laid by the opening partnership of 94 runs between Aaron Johnson and Navneet Dhaliwal. However, Aakash Chand, making his ODI debut, made an impact by dismissing Dhaliwal for 46 runs in the 18.2 overs.
Johnson reached his fifty off 56 balls but was unfortunate to be run out by wicketkeeper Aasif Sheikh on 65 runs in the 22.2 overs. His half-century included 10 fours and two sixes.
Pragat Singh (38 runs off 38 balls) and Nicholas Kriton (20 runs off 29 balls) further consolidated Canada's position with a 53-run partnership for the third wicket. However, Rohit Paudel turned the tide in Nepal's favor by removing both Singh and Kirton in quick succession during the 32nd over.
Canada suffered a collapse thereafter, losing wickets at regular intervals. They found themselves at 239-8 after 45 overs as Thaker (3), Bajwa (19), Zafar (1), and Ahmadzai (13) fell victim to Nepal's bowling attack. A crucial 46-run partnership for the ninth wicket between Shreyas Movva (40 runs off 42 balls) and Uday Bhagwan (20 runs off 15 balls) helped Canada reach a respectable total.
Nepal's bowlers put up an impressive performance, with Surya Tamang claiming his first ODI wicket. Kushal Malla, Rijan Dhakal, and Pawan Sarraf also contributed with crucial wickets.
Overall, Nepal's exceptional display of skill and determination secured their victory over Canada, sealing the bilateral series with a remarkable performance in the second ODI.