Lamichhane, Basant help Nepal pull off one-wicket heist


Sandeep Lamichhane followed a four-wicket haul with a thrilling 18-run stand for the last wicket with Basant Regmi to take Nepal past the WCL Division Two hosts Namibia with four balls to spare.

A loss loomed for Nepal when thunderstorms stopped the chase at 111 for 8 after 43 overs with the visitors 11 runs behind the DLS par score. Heavy rain continued for 30 minutes but because Nepal had bowled out Namibia in 34.2 overs, there was plenty of time to spare before the official cutoff of 5:45pm. Once the rain stopped, it only took another 35 minutes for the field to dry adequately for play to resume.

Namibia took a step closer to victory when Sompal Kami was beaten for pace on a drive to give Craig Williams his third wicket and put the hosts one away from victory. It was part of a terrific all-round day for Williams who had top-scored with 41 off 34 balls in the first innings and later took a stunning one-handed diving catch at slip to remove Sharad Vesawkar for 29.

But Lamichhane kept calm while Basant chanced his hand at the other end. With 15 needed off nine balls, Basant charged at Sarel Burger’s medium-pace and drove him over long-off for six. Lamichhane later turned down a single off the final ball of the 49th over to give Basant control of the final over with seven required. A two was followed by a four behind point to level the scores before Jan Frylinck speared a wide down leg to finish the game.

Earlier, Lamichhane had sparked a middle-order collapse with the wicket of Williams as Namibia went from 80 for 3 to 81 for 6. After spinning out the tail, Nepal had to bat just under an hour before lunch, moving to 32 for 2. Captain Paras Khadka fell for 19 to spark the interval. Left-arm spinner Bernard Scholtz continued to make inroads into the batting line-up with 4 for 11 before Vesawkar and Basant helped secure a famous Nepal win.

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