He had done it a few times for Nepal for U19 team, but Basant Regmi’s unbeaten 24 off 24 balls against hosts Namibia was a master stroke. The left-arm orthodox, batting at No. 10, pulled a stunning one wicket victory in the World Cricket League Division 2.
Nepal scored 139 for 9 in 49.2 overs to surpass Namibia’s 138 all out in 34. 2 overs at the Affies Park, Windhoek.
When Basant walked into the ground with the bat, Nepal was at 104/8 needing another 35 runs for victory – that looked only a miracle. Sompal Kami made useful 13 runs but was not impressive as he was beaten repeatedly.
With No. 11 Sandeep Lamichhane in, Namibia was near the victory but Basant hit Saral Burger, the most successful bowler with figure reading 9.3-3-7-3, for a lofted six over the long off to give some cheers. He took a quick single next ball to leave Sandeep face the last ball of 49th over.
Sandeep could have taken a single but he wanted Basant on strike for last over to be bowled by left-arm medium Jan Frylinck, who had represented South Africa in 2012 U19 World Cup. The top three bowlers had finished their quota.
Basant cuts first ball for two runs and sliced another for four to tie the match. A wide ended the match in Nepal’s favor – a deserved win after a splendid bowling performance which however looked unlikely after a dismal batting performance.
“It was crazy how it turned out,” Nepal caption Paras told The National. “We still needed eight more [in last over], but Basant has done this before. It is not like it is the first time he has done this with the bat, with no wickets remaining. We just knew Sandeep needed to stay with him. He showed very good composure.”
After 42 overs, with Nepal on 111/8, the match stopped due to rain with Nepal 11 runs behind on D/L method. However, the rain soon stopped and the match was restarted.
For Nepal, Sharad Vesawkar topscored with 29 and he was out after a stunning one-handed catch by Williams in the slip who dived full length right to take the catch on the air. Paras Khadka (19), dubutant Rohit Paudel (17) and Gyanendra Malla (15) were others who scored in double-digit.
Earlier, leg-spinner Sandeep and pacer Sompal bowled splendidly as Nepal bowled out hosts Namibia for a low total. Sompal took advantage of early wickets getting the first two wickets within first 5 overs. He struck on the fifth ball getting LP van der Westhuizen and followed it up with Stephen Baard (18) in fifth over. Baard was caught behind by Dilip Nath.
Namibia showed some recovery with Zane Green, J Kotze and Craig Williams. Williams topscored with 41 off 45 balls before becoming the first victim of teenager Sandeep.
Another wicket to Sandeep and a wicket each to Basant Regmi, Paras Khadka and Sharad Vesawkar means Namibia were in deep trouble losing four wickets for 6 runs and going down to 81/6 from 75/2.
Green, who had left the field due to injury, returned late to make 22 while JN Frylinck also scored 22 and JJ Smit contributed 18 before Sompal returned to claim wicket on first ball of second spell and Sandeep took two more to finish Namibia’s innings cheap.
Sandeep returned with an impressive figure of 8.2-2-18-4 that earned him man of the match while Sompal took 3 for 35.
“As a captain, I can’t be any more pleased. Hopefully we can continue this momentum moving forward,” Paras said. “The bowlers were fantastic, but batting-wise, we should have done better. The wicket wasn’t that easy today, a little up and down, but more application from our batters would have not put us into such a situation.”