Nepal ended Thailand’s unbeaten start after a 140-run rout under the Duckworth/Lewis method in the second of two matches at the Bayuemas Oval.
Nepal top the standings on six points ahead of Singapore on net run-rate while Thailand slipped to third with five points from four matches, two ahead of fourth-placed Malaysia. Only the top three at the end of the round-robin tournament advance to the Asia Regional Finals.
Nepal meant business in setting the tournament’s highest total of 172-7 as Karan KC plundered 21 runs off Nicholas Janes in the final over, including three consecutive sixes, in compiling an unbeaten 40.
Karan later returned to claim three wickets for two runs to take the man-of-the-match honour as shell-shocked Thailand collapsed to 18/9 after 8.5 overs before play was called off due to rain.
A reshuffled line-up saw Nepal out of the blocks quickly when put in to bat by Thailand as Anil Kumar Shah (25), Binod Bhandari (15), Sharad Vesawkar (34) and Dipendra Singh Airee (30) quickly set about putting runs on the board.
But Thailand struck back in the middle of the innings with four wickets for the addition of 15 runs as Payuputh Sungnard finished with four for 21 before Karan’s final flourish in a 44-run stand for the eighth wicket with Sompal Kami.
Thailand could not have made a worst start to their chase after losing Md Shafiqul Haque and Daniel Jacobs after eight balls with just one run scored.
With dark clouds gathering over the ground, Nepal were in a hurry to wrap up the win and Thailand were soon 6/3 when Janes was trapped leg-before by Sandeep Lamichhane.
A day after taking five wickets against Malaysia, Sandeep again ended with five for eight including three scalps in the space of four deliveries in the eighth over to take his tournament tally to 14 wickets.
“It has been a good three games but we take nothing for granted and we go out there to do our best. I’m glad everybody has put in that effort” said Nepal captain Paras Khadka.
“At the end of the first innings, the weather looked a bit sketchy so we wanted to finish off the five overs as quickly as possible just to get a result under D/L. The bowlers responded splendidly.”