Nepal beat MCC XI in a 50-over game at Lord's
In an unprecedented and historic achievement, Nepal’s cricket team defeated the Marylebone Cricket Club XI in a 50-over game at the Lord’s Cricket Ground, London, thus making their debut at the ‘home of cricket’ a successful one. The match, which was organised to commemorate the 200-year-old relationship between Britain and Nepal, saw the visiting side coming out as the winners, who defeated the MCC XI by 41 runs.
The essence of the win was well exuberated after the victory, as Nepal captain Paras Khadka led his team out on the field to accept the appreciation and the support of over 5000-strong crowd that had gathered to root for their team. The earnings from the game would be forwarded towards the relief work that has been going on in the aftermath of the deadly earthquake that had struck Nepal last year.
“Boys were excited, a little bit nervous as well - you can understand, playing at Lord's just doesn't happen everyday,” said the Nepal captain, Khadka. “I think we managed to hold ourselves pretty well. Everybody contributed bits and pieces, overall it was very good. Batting, we were 20-30 runs short but the boys kept digging in, the wicket wasn't that easy and the bowlers were very, very disciplined and that was one of the key factors for us to win today.”
Batting first, MCC opener George Adair’s hundred could not help his side chase down a target of 218 that was set by Nepal, as the home team was bowled out for 176, with Sompal Kami and Basant Regmi being the wreckers-in-chief for the Asian nation.
Earlier, a top score of 39 Gyanendra Malla and some useful contributions down the order helped Nepal post a respectable total on the board. MCC captain Keith Dutch and the South Africa-born all-rounder Chad Barrett picked up two wickets each to help restrict Nepal to 217 for 8 in their 50 overs.
Khadka and Malla gave a decent start to the visiting team, as they lead the side to 104/2, before both of them were dismissed in successive overs. Thereafter, Kami and Regmi put up 42 runs for the 8th wicket to take Nepal to the aforementioned score, and their bowlers did the rest. Sagar Pun picked up 3 wickets for 35 runs, as only three of the MCC batsmen could get into double figures.
Pubudu Dassanayake, Nepal’s former coach, and the incumbent consultant, was visibly exuberant after the team’s performance, as he said, “These boys, the amount of work they put in, they deserve this, to come and play a game here... They make a lot of sacrifices and fight always.”