Papua New Guinea shocked the hopes of Nepali cricket defeating the national team by 70 runs in the first league match of the World Cup Qualifying Series Division II tournament at the Kelab Aman, Kuala Lumpur today.
PNG, who defeated Bangladesh in third-place playoff in the 1982 ICC Trophy, amassed 240/8 in allotted 50 overs before restricting Nepal in 170/9. Jamie Brazier, the Australian, playing for PNG scored 97 runs and tool three wickets to claim man of the match award.
With the loss, NepalÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s hopes of qualifying to the ICC Trophy 2005, the World Cup qualifier, will become tougher. However, winning the event to qualify for ICC Trophy is still position as the top two-placed team from each group proceeds to semifinal.
PNG won the toss and elected to bat. Mehboob Alam gave a good start to Nepal claiming wicket of opener Kauna Vagi who went in the first over on his first ball. PNG then lost Mahura Dai (13) at 34 but then went for a big partnership of 133 runs. Arua Uda, the opener, and Brazier frustrated Nepali bowlers scoring runs at ease.
Uda got 55 off 88 balls before giving a catch to Dhirendra Chand off Shakti Gauchan while Brazier, who was born in PNG and played club cricket in England, went on to score 97. He was dropped at 38 by Dhirendra. He played aggressively facing only 83 balls and hitting 13 boundaries Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 3 of which was the maximum.
Brazier couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t however complete his century as he Gauchan deceived him. Paras Khadka took the catch. Guachan was the most successful Nepali bowler with three wickets while Dhirendra also took three. Quick wickets during the end of the game stopped PNG from racing to even big total.
In reply, Nepal had a disastrous start losing both openers, Mehboob Alam and Kaniska Chaugai within 20 runs. Young Paras showed some resistance scoring half-century in 82 balls with five fours and partnering with Shakti (6) and Paresh Lohani (13) for 31 runs each.
Captain Binod Das made 18 while debutant wicket-keeper Manoj Vaishya remained unbeaten on 37 as Nepal ended 50 overs 70 runs behind PNG losing 9 wickets. Besides Brazier, Inoa Bakau and Mahura Dai each took two wickets. On Tuesday, Nepal will play Kuwait who defeated Italy by 4 wickets.