The World Cup qualifier match against Papua New Guinea presented Nepal a substantial accolade of gaining ODI status. The team received it for the first time their history winning against New Guinea. It was an excellent six-wicket win with 162 balls remaining at Old Hararians Sports Club. On the other hand, losing the match, New Guinea lost its ODI status as well. In another qualifier match, Netherlands won against Hong Kong. This match had a good relevance for Nepal as they were dependent on Netherlands to claim an ODI status. Hong Kong lost its ODI status along with New Guinea.
Nepal has a history of more than a couple of decades in international cricket. It was back in 1988 when the team was granted Affiliate status by ICC. The team was also granted to Associate rank in 1996. Latter in 2008, the team promoted itself third in the World Cricket League Division 5. Since then, Nepal has been steady to progress in Division cricket.
In 2010, the team won Division 5 and finished third on Division 4. In 2012, they were the Champions in the latter. In the next year, Nepal was placed in World T20 Qualifier on one hand, while becoming the winners of Division 3. In 2014, the team debuted World T20 before qualifying for World Cup League Championship in 2015. They also go promoted to Division 2 in the year.
The latest match turned out as an easy win for Nepal. Struck with a strong attack from bowlers, New Guinea crumbled in 114 runs playing only 27.2 overs. Young leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane nicked four wickets for 28 runs breaking through the top order. 19 runs by CJI Amini was the highest in the inning as New Guinea’s batting line topped without much resistance. The lineup met a strong attack from Airee, who did away with the lower order. He had a better economy giving away only 14 runs.
As the target was below average, Nepal did not have to work hard in the chase. Although the inning started with wickets, DS Airee again showed up a strong allrounder form batting at fourth. He remained unbeaten with a strike of 50 runs of 58 balls. Aarif Sheikh knocked 26 runs playing 42 balls in the winning partnership. Nepal wrapped up the match with a victory with 27 overs to spare.
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