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Nepal clinch Division 3 title with victory over Uganda

Nepal were crowned Pepsi ICC World Cricket League (WCL) Division 3 champions after handing Uganda a five-wicket defeat in a low scoring final at the National Sports Centre (NSC) yesterday.

Uganda’s decision to bat first backfired on them as they could only muster 151 for eight in their allotted 50 overs with middle order bats Laurence Sematimba (27), Deusdedit Muhumuza (28) and skipper Davis Arinaitwe (23) scoring the bulk of their team’s runs.

Left arm seamer Basant Regmi (2-24) and left arm spinner Rahul Vishwakaur (2-34) claimed four wickets between them to help restrict the Ugandans to a paltry total.

In reply, Nepal cruised to victory with 64 balls to spare with Pradeep Airee (60) and Sharad Vesawkar (50 not out) both scoring half-centuries to provide the backbone of their team’s successful run chase.

Vesawkar and Prithu Baskota (19 not out) shared in an unbroken sixth wicket stand that carried Nepal safely across the line with plenty of overs remaining in the innings.

Left arm spinner Henry Senyondo (2-29) was the pick of the Ugandan bowling attack that toiled in vain trying to defend a low total on a spacious pitch.

Nepal reached the final after pipping USA on net run rate after thrashing Italy the previous day in their final round robin match at Somerset Cricket Club.

Making Nepal’s triumph all the more remarkable is the fact many had written them off after they lost their opening two round robin matches against USA and Uganda.

“Having lost the first couple of games no one gave us an outright chance, but we still believed in ourselves and our ability,” said Nepal skipper Paras Khadka. “We worked really hard for it.

“Everything worked in favour of us and, as they say, fortune favours the brave. I feel glad. We have reached where we always wanted to, and now it is a matter of preparing ourselves even better.”

Despite coming up short in the final, Uganda skipper Arinaitwe said his team still has much to the proud of having booked their ticket to next year’s ICC Cricket World Cup qualifying tournament in New Zealand.

“Qualifying for the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier was our primary objective when we got here, we first put our sights on trying to qualify for that tournament, so I felt that for us, that is an achievement that we can take back home,” he said.

“Ideally, I would have liked to finish the tournament on a high and pick up the final trophy of the whole tournament, and leave this beautiful island as WCL winners. But on this day I thought we were not lucky in the field. I thought the Nepal batsmen batted pretty well.”

If it was any consolation, Arinaitwe was named player of the tournament. He took 10 wickets during the tournament and received man of the match accolades on two occasions.

Yesterday’s remaining fifth and sixth play off contest saw Oman beat Italy by five wickets at Somerset Cricket Club.

Oman dismissed Italy for 207 in 49 overs and reached their target with just under five overs to spare.

Both Oman and Italy were relegated to the WCL Division 4.

Nepal and Uganda were promoted to the WCL Division 2 while USA and Bermuda remain in WCL Division 3.

Nepal players celebrate the fall of another Ugandan wicket during yesterday's Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 3 final at the National Sports Centre (Photo by Glenn Tucker)

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Published May 05, 2013 at 10:52 pm (Updated May 05, 2013 at 10:51 pm)

Nepal clinch Division 3 title with victory over Uganda

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