Nepal has defeated Papua New Guinea by 52 runs in the first one-day match of the final series of ICC World Cup Cricket League-2 held at TU cricket ground in Kirtipur today. Put into bat first after losing the toss, host Nepal posted a huge score of 297 runs after losing all wickets in 49.1 overs.
Nepali opener Ashif Sheikh scored his maiden century, with 110 runs in equal number of balls and comprising two sixes and 12 fours. Likewise, Kushal Bhurtel and Bhim Sarki scored 45 and 44 runs respectively while Rohit Paudel scored 30 runs for Nepal. For the bowling side, Semo Kamea took 5 wickets while Riley Hekure took three wickets. In reply, Papua New Guinea lost all wickets in 47.1 overs, with only 245 runs on the board.
For the PNG, Norman Vanua top-scored with 60 runs while opener Tony Ura scored 50 runs. Also, Assad Vala contributed 42 runs. For Nepal, Sandeep Lamichhane took 4 wickets, Dipendra Singh Airee took 2 and Kushal Malla took one wicket. With the win, Nepal has added 34 points in 33 games. Nepal currently stands in the fifth position in the points table. Papua New Guinea remains at the bottom with just 9 points after 33 matches.
Nepal has now three games left to play in this series and need to win one more match to retain its ODI status and win all three to automatically qualify for the 2023 World Cup qualifiers. Nepal will now play against the United Arab Emirates on March 12.