By sportsnewsarena correspondent
Mar 13, 2017
Kenya’s hopes of qualifying to the next ICC Cricket World Cup received a jolt after Nepal romped to a comfortable seven-wicket victory at Tribhuvan University International Cricket Ground, Kirtipur on Monday.
The loss saw Kenya remain fifth place with five wins from 10 matches, six behind leaders Netherlands.
Heading into the match, Kenya needed to win the and topple Hong Kong from the third place to boost their chances of World Cup qualification.
With the rains having spared the match, Nepal bowlers produced an inspired performance in bowling Kenya out for 155, and the hosts rode on half Gyanendra Malla (64 not out) and Dipen Airee (62) to reach the target in only 30.2 overs and for the loss of three wickets.
Sharad Vesawkar was the architect of Kenya’s loss with an outstanding bowling show that included a hat trick in his 7.1 overs.
He first took dismissed opener Irfan Karim’s (38) at 30.4 overs before going to make a hat trick by claiming the last three wickets of the innings, including two consecutive wickets of Karan Kaul (14) at 44.4 overs and Shem Ngoche (0) at 44.5 overs, and of Elijah Otieno (1) at 46.1.
It was the bowler's’ success in choking the opposition that led to victory.
Mahaboob Alam and Sompal Kami bowled a tight line that saw Kenya slump to a run rate of 2.6 at the end of 10 overs and 2.7 at the end of 20 overs for the loss of two wickets.
Top order collapse
Kenya’s top order, which is heavily dependent on Alex Obanda, Dhiren Gondaria, Rakep Patel, Collins Obuya and Karim struggled to fend off Nepal's disciplined bowling.
When Kenya appeared to bounce back, Nepal brought in Vesawkar a decision that brought with it a string of wickets.
After being sent into bat, Kenya lost opener Alex Obanda and Dhiren Gondaria in the fourth over before a 79-run third wicket-stand between Irfan Karim (38) and Obuya (48) took them close to the 100-run mark.
While the duo stemmed the fall of wickets, their partnership also took up 140 balls. Both batsmen fell in quick succession, following tight bowling from Mohaboob Alam (7-5-11-2), Sagar Pun (7-0-19-1) and Vesawkar that saw Kenya fall from 151 for 6 to 155 all out in the 47th over.
Obuya’s inning that lasted 78 balls included seven boundaries. It ended in the 28th over when he was stumped with Kenya on 93 for 3.
Karim faced 77 balls on his way to 38 that included three boundaries before falling to Vesawkar in the 31st over with the board 107.
Skipper Rakep Patel and Karan Kaul looked on reviving Kenya’s surge but their partnership lasted only six overs before Patel was sent back to the pavilion on 21 runs.
Gurdeep Singh played a poor shot to be the sixth wicket on two with only six added between him and Kaul. Kaul and Nehemiah Odhiambo added 20 for the seventh before Kaul was bowled by Vesawkar on 14.
From there Kenya went on to post 155 all out from what looked like a comfortable score of 93 for 3.
Nepal rode on superb batting from Malla and Airee to win their fourth win in 10 matches.
After beginning the chase on a sour note by losing Sunil Dhamala (1) and Sagar Pun (5) to stand at 14 for 2 after 3.4 overs, Malla and Airee laid a solid foundation for the chase.
They put up 111 runs for the third wicket before the latter was sent back to the pavilion on lbw by Collins Obuya in the 28th over.
Incoming batsman Sharad Vesawkar (24) then forged a 35-run partnership with Malla to help Nepal get past the finish line with 116 balls to spare.