Nepal edged Railways-XI by five runs in another thrilling match against the Indian team for their fourth victory in five matches of the New Delhi tour.
Nepal played against the same side that had few changes today and had Amrit Bhattarai to thank for, in producing a sensational victory. Nepal made 137-7 after they were put to bat first. The match was evenly poised when Railways needed 16 runs from the final over with five wickets in hand and Hemant Singh still at the crease on 73 runs.
Amrit, however, marked a sensational day conceding just 10 runs and picking up the wicket updangerous Hemant, who collected two, six and one runs in the first three balls before Gyanendra Malla caught him. Amrit then delivered a dot ball and a single to hand Nepal a hard-fought victory.
Hemant was the only Railways batsman to lead his team’s charge with a 64-ball 82 that included six sixes and two boundaries. Nepal looked well on course for victory when Railways were reduced to 47-5 in nine overs but Hemant and Pankaj Chaudhary added 83 runs to turn the match upside down.
Pankaj made 25 off 27 with a boundary before his run out in the third ball of Amrit’s final over distracted the local side. Other Railways batsmen failed to make runs in double digits. Shakti Gauchan (2-16) and Amrit (2-26) shared four wickets between them with skipper Paras Khadka and Jitendra Mukhiya getting one scalp apiece.
Earlier, a 62-run partnership for the fourth wicket between Gyanendra Malla and Binod Bhandari laid the foundation for Nepal’s challenging total. After losing openers Subash Khakurel (13) and Sagar Pun (15) along with Paras (five) for 42 runs, Gyanendra and Binod compensated for the top order.
Binod made 42 off 35 with five boundaries and Gyanendra made 31 off 34 without hitting a boundary. Basanta Regmi (12) and Pradeep Airee (11) also made runs in double figures. Karan Thakur and Hitesh Kadam picked up two wickets each for the Railways.