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Nepal continues on-field success, despite administrative failure

Manoj Ghimire
515   //    31 Dec 2018, 17:21 IST

T20 Triangular Tournament - MCC, Nepal & The Netherlands
T20 Triangular Tournament - MCC, Nepal & The Netherlands

Karan KC smashing unbeaten 42 runs in world cup qualifiers, Dipendra Singh Airee's all-round show to secure One Day International status, first ever One Day International match, first ever win.

Nepal's successful year in the International arena where they get the taste of what they were dreaming since 1996 when made their way to International cricket for the first time.

The dream of every player is to play at the highest level of cricket anywhere and anytime in their career. Not what we were dreaming of playing cricket at world cup or getting Test status but for now at least we have One Day International status to showcase.

While players were getting success on on-field action actions, the cricket governing body back home is still suspended by the international cricket governing body. The board was suspended back on 26 April 2016. Thanks to ICC for not suspending from playing International cricket. Imagine, if they had suspended from playing cricket, it would have been a disastrous scene for the supporters being one of the best cricket supporting nation in the world.

Presenting you few talking points of Nepal cricket in 2018 and expecting 2019 will be much more successful.

Karan KC's heroic

In ICC World Cricket League Division 2, Nepal was playing against Canada in Namibia. Nepal had to win anyhow to make it to the World Cup Qualifier and get One Day International Status. The situation was against Nepal when Karan KC was joined by Sandeep Lamichhane, No. 11 batsman with needed 51 runs from 47 deliveries.

Canadian players were celebrating but Karan KC had another idea on his mindset. What happened after that was one of the miracles in cricketing history as Canadian players - who were celebrating few overs ago - were in total disappointment as Karan KC struct an unbeaten 42 off 31 balls, including eight off the final two balls, to seal one of the greatest victories in Nepal's history. With that victory, Nepal secured their position in ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe later on the same year.

One Day International status guaranteed

Dipendra Singh Airee in a crucial match against Papua New Guinea showed his all-round performance to make the dream possible of getting One Day International Status for the first time in history.

It was 9th-place-playoff where Nepal had to win to create history and was not easy considering PNG had ODI status. Airee, with the ball, initially bowled tight lines picking up four wickets conceding just 14 runs from 4.2 overs and later on scored unbeaten half-century chasing mere 115 runs to give his side a 6 wickets victory. With that Nepal got ODI status for the first time for four years and on the other hand, PNG lost theirs.


First ever One Day Match

Dream come true first one day match was played against the Netherlands on their backyard and thanks to their cricket governing body for making it possible while CAN was/is suspended. It was an emotional moment not only to those XI players who were in the ground but also to those who were in the dressing room, team management, all the supporters and who were/are dreaming to play for the nation in future.

In that match, Netherlands' Micheal Rippon spoiled the party of Nepal getting a maiden win in their maiden match. Scored 51 runs and took 3 wickets for 23 runs as Nepal failed to chase a total of 189 runs failing apart by 55 runs despite Gyanendra Malla's half-century be become first every half-centurion for Nepal in ODIs. Special mention to skipper Khadka and Kami sharing seven wickets between them.

Historic Win in second one day

On August 3 - Nepal once again played against the Netherlands in the last match of the 2-match-series. Unlike two days ago, Nepal managed to beat the home side but not before making it one of the most memorable matches in not just Nepal's history but in cricketing history as they beat home side by the smallest possible margin of 1 run in the last ball of the match's 100th over. It was captain Khadka who came out with match's best moment in crucial time. Needing 6 runs from last over and having just 1 wicket in hand chasing a total of 215 runs, Klaassen and Meekeren almost took Netherlands home.

Almost. The last ball of the final over was as interesting as anything that could be in any sport. Khadka was ready to bowl the final delivery with Klaassen on strike, Klaassen hit straight to stump and the ball went on to Khadka who was attentive on his follow-through, collected the ball and dislodges the stump and won by ONE run. History created. Sompal Kami was awarded a man of the match award for his 61 runs.

Sandeep Lamichhane's rise

The year 2018 has been the break-through year for leg spinning sensation. In 2016 at Hong Kong, seen playing along with former Australian world cup winning captain Michael Clark and said playing Big Bash League was his dream.

In 2018, from Indian Premier League to Big Bash League played 6 franchise league around the world along with best players playing around the world. In BBL season 8, he is performing like an experienced campaigner picking up 7 wickets from three matches for Melbourne Stars under Glenn Maxwell.

Already played his last match of the year, another cracking display is expecting when he comes out to play against Melbourne Renegades in New Year. Initially was picked up by Delhi Capitals (then Daredevils) then he is one of the players every team is wishing to have in their side.

He played in Australia (Big Bash League), the UAE (T10 league and Afghanistan Premier League), Canada (Global T20 Canada), Nepal (Everest Premier League), India (Delhi Capitals), England (T20I debut for World XI), West Indies (Caribbean Premier League) and Malaysia (ICC World T20 Asia B Qualifiers) by the end of 2018.

Missed opportunities

Nepal had a chance to play against Asian giants India and Pakistan in Asia Cup cricket but failed to make it due to the poor show in Asia Cup Qualifier. Hong Kong emerged victoriously and made it to the Asia Cup, Nepal finished on 4th only behind Singapore and Malaysia in September.

From the same tournament, the United Arab Emirates being runner-up and Oman finishing third along with champion Hong Kong qualified for ACC Emerging Teams Cup where four test playing nations' U23 team had participated.