Bermuda suffer fifth defeat
Dion Stovell produced his best bowling spell in a Twenty20 international in Dubai yesterday but it still wasn’t enough to prevent Bermuda from suffering a 24-run defeat against Nepal at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
It was the team’s fifth straight loss at the ICC World Twenty20 2012 qualifiers and they now face the sobering reality of finishing dead last in Group A.
Stovell claimed four wickets for 25 runs from his four-over spell to take his tournament tally to nine as Nepal were restricted to 151 for six.
But Bermuda could only reply with 127 for five despite Nepal giving away 20 extras in the field that included nine wides.
Once again Bermuda’s top order batsman either failed to ignite or sat on their bats which in turn put pressure on the middle order as the run rate steadily climbed.
Lionel Cann was again sacrificed at number three against the harder new ball. Cann was out for a two-ball duck, his second of the tournament.
Skipper David Hemp (26) and number four bat Stephen Outerbridge (ten) wasted too many precious deliveries that left the middle order bats with a heavy workload.
Number five bat Janeiro Tucker, who many argue should be batting at number four instead, kept Bermuda in with a fighting chance with a dashing 32 from 27 deliveries that contained two boundaries and a six.
But all hopes of Bermuda putting a halt to a four-game losing streak all but ended after Tucker was bowled by leg spinner Shakti Gauchan on the first ball of the 17th over.
An unbroken 25-run partnership for the sixth wicket between Kamau Leverock (15) and Rodney Trott (eight) was nothing more than a formality.
Bermuda required 36 from the last over to snatch an improbable win from the jaws of defeat.
Leverock smashed the first delivery of the 20th over off seamer Chandra Sawad out of the park for six.
But the Island’s fate was sealed with Sawad’s very next delivery that Leverock only managed to score a single from.
Gauchan, who once again exposed Bermuda’s vulnerability against leg spin, was the pick of the Nepal bowling with figures of three for 17.
The first change bowler claimed the prized scalps of Stovell (16) and Cann in the space of two balls with no addition to the score after being introduced into his team’s attack in the fifth over.
Stovell slapped two boundaries off seamer and Nepal skipper Paras Khadka in the first over of the innings as Bermuda got off to a flying start.
But after he and Cann fell in quick succession, the run rate dropped off considerably as Hemp and Outerbridge struggled to find the gaps.
Bermuda only scored 28 runs during the power play with nine overs separating the second boundary of the innings from the third, which finally arrived in the tenth over when Hemp dispatched off spinner Sanjam Regmi to the fence.
Earlier, Nepal made the most of their time at the crease after electing to bat with skipper Khadka leading by example with an unbeaten 65 from 48 deliveries.
The number four bat thumped eight boundaries and a six and dominated a 75-run third wicket stand with Sharad Vesawkar (44) that laid the foundation for their team’s win.
Vesawkar’s knock was his best in a T20 international to date and contained six boundaries.
Things looked promising for Bermuda after Stovell claimed the scalps of Anil Mandal (seven) and Pradeep Airee (15) with only 22 runs on the board.
But the pendulum swung back in Nepal’s favour once the off spinner was removed from the attack as Khadka and Vesawkar dropped anchor and batted sensibly at the crease.
Supporting Stovell in the bowling was seamer Justin Pitcher who claimed two for 29 after coming into the attack at the start of the 15th over as fourth change.
Bermuda, whose chances of advancing to the knockout stage of the competition have long been dashed, remain rooted at the bottom of Group A.
They face Papua New Guinea today before taking on unbeaten group leaders Afghanistan tomorrow in their remaining group matches.
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