Nepal were comfortable winners against the MCC in their one-day match on Monday, chasing down a target of 202 with five wickets in hand at the TU Ground.
MCC captain Jimmy Adams won the toss and elected to bat on a typically dry surface which took turn early on. Despite the early dominance of Will Rhodes and Billy Godleman at the top of the order, a Nepali fightback led by Pawan Sarraf restricted the tourists.
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Sarraf removed the dangerous Godleman for a 38-ball 52, before claiming Adams, Alex Thomson and Chris Wright to finish with figures of 4-31. Lalit Rajbanshi tied up things at the other end with four wickets of his own, triggering an MCC collapse of 8-39. Karan KC and Abinash Bohora also collected a wicket each.
Nepal lost both Ishan Pandey and Gyanendra Malla early to Yasir Arafat, though a 61-run stand between DS Airee and Sharad Vesawkar steadied proceedings. The pair fell in the same over to Alex Thomson, giving the tourists another look-in at 81-4.
Aarif Sheikh and Binod Bhandari picked up the task in a partnership of 54, and despite the loss of Sheikh to Yasir, Nepal cruised home with 12.3 overs to spare. Sarraf cemented Play of the Match credentials with a knock of 38 from 25 balls, with keeper-batsman Bhandari finishing unbeaten on 52 from 64 balls.
Nepal will now take on the MCC in a three-day match at the TU Ground, with the match carrying First Class status. It’s the first match with First Class status in 14 years in Nepal.
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