Nepal leave Bermuda all in a spin after crushing defeat
Bermuda 106 (38.2 overs)Bermuda suffered a major setback in their hopes of advancing to the World Cup Qualifiers when they were thrashed by previously winless Nepal at St David’s yesterday in the ICC World Cricket League Division 3 Tournament.
Nepal 107-2 (11.2 overs)
Sent in by Nepal, Bermuda were undone by some tight and disciplined spin bowling by their opponents on a turning wicket as they struggled to reach 100 for the second time in the tournament. Bermuda lost their first wicket in just the third over when Chris Douglas was caught behind by Subash Prasa Khakurel with just 14 runs on the board.
But after second and third wicket stands of 30 and 29 between captain Stephen Outerbridge and Dion Stovell and Outerbridge and David Hemp, things were starting to look up at 77-2. What would happen in 32 minutes was totally astonishing as the local team lost six wickets to Nepal’s spinners to slump from 73-3 to 89-9.
Hemp’s departure for 16 was a major blow for Bermuda, dismissed in the 22nd over to another lbw decision at Lords when the score was 73 and it signalled a drastic middle order slump that dashed any hopes of Bermuda putting up a challenging total. Janeiro Tucker went for just two, five balls later and when Jason Anderson and Lionel Cann fell to captain Paras Khadka in the space of four balls in the 27th over, the backbone of Bermuda’s batting had been broken at 86-6.
Treadwell Gibbons faced 10 balls for his one run before he was bowled behind his legs by a delivery from the slow left-armer Basant Regmi that spun away as Gibbons shuffled across his stumps. Captain Outerbridge, who watched six partners depart in the space of 45 runs, was finally undone by spin, too, in the next over when he came out of his crease to play Khadka and turned the delivery into a yorker and was bowled for a team high 29 which came off 77 balls and included three fours.
At 89-9 there wasn’t much hope that the tail-enders would dig Bermuda out of deep trouble and quite quickly the innings was wrapped up as Rodney Trott was trapped lbw by Regmi and Jacobi Robinson was dismissed by another spinner, Shakti Prasad Gauchan, without scoring to leave the confident looking Malachi Jones unbeaten on 15.
Khadka claimed four for 31 off 10 overs to lead the Nepal bowling while Regmi supported with three for 20 from his ten. Sanjam Regmi added to the torment of the Bermuda batsmen, conceding just 11 runs in his seven overs and taking the wicket of Stovell earlier in the innings.
“We are always strong in the spinners department and it was a suitable wicket for us,” said a very satisfied Nepal coach Pubudu Dassanayake afterwards. “We took a bit of a gamble by putting Bermuda in because we knew that it would turn more in the evening. But because of the rain forecast for the evening and the net run rate that we needed to catch up in the coming games we thought the best option was to put them in and have a target to go after.”
Nepal’s run chase was interrupted by a rain delay early in their innings soon after losing the wicket of wicketkeeper Khakurel to a catch at square leg off first change Rodney Trott’s first deliver with 23 runs on the board in the third over. After the resumption Bermuda took another wicket to raise faint hopes at 35-2 after 4.2 overs, but Nepal were in no mood for another setback and a 72-run unbroken third wicket stand between Gyanendra Mella (34) and captain Khadka (46) carried them to victory in just 11.2 overs.
Malla hit five fours and a six off 20 balls while Khadka’s 46 came off 27 balls and included four fours and three sixes.
Nepal join Bermuda with a 1-2 record and their coach insists they still have a slight chance of finishing in the top two with two matches remaining.
“We still have hopes, we are a better team than most of the teams, but we had two bad games (USA and Uganda) and the conditions and some things didn’t go our way but we need to focus and win the next two games and hope things fall into place,” said Dassanayake.
“We still have a chance (of qualifying) and we’re looking forward to our next two games.”
Today Nepal meet Oman at National Sports Centre while Bermuda travel to Somerset to take on Italy.