Nepal Skipper’s Brilliant Hundred Leads Historic T20 Victory over Mighty West Indies A

Pratish GC and Gulshan Jha celebrate after Nepal's mammoth chase against West Indies A at the TU Ground. (CAN)

The first ever T20 between Nepal and the Windies A cricket team was played at Tribhuvan University International Stadium, where the hosts secured a four-wicket victory over a strong Windies A squad, largely thanks to a 47-ball hundred from skipper Rohit Paudel in pursuit of 205.

With the win, Nepal leads the five-match T20 series 1-0.

The home team won the toss and chose to bowl first. West Indies A opener Athanaze made a fiery start, smashing a blistering 47 runs off 25 balls in spite of partner Johnson Charles being dismissed for a duck at the other end by Kamal Singh Airee in the first over.

Windies skipper Roston Chase led the Windies’ batting, top-scoring with a 46-ball 74. Keacy Carty, who had a brilliant 61-run partnership with Chase, scored 38 off 26 balls.

For the home side, Abinash Bohara picked up an important wicket, dismissing the dangerous-looking Carty, and was the standout bowler with figures of 1/28 in his 4 overs. Despite leaking runs in the first two overs, Dipendra Singh Airee bowled exceptionally well in the final over, taking a wicket and conceding just 4 runs to keep West Indies A to 204.

In reply, Nepal’s openers were cautious, scoring at just a run a ball in the first two overs. Matthew Forde struck first for West Indies A, dismissing Anil Sah, who mistimed his shot and was caught at short mid-wicket. Nepal’s skipper, Rohit Paudel, then took charge with two consecutive boundaries in the first two deliveries he faced, with the crowd erupting into chants. All of Nepal’s batters got starts but failed to capitalize. Both Kushals (Bhurtel and Malla) had scored 16 runs each, at strike rates just over a hundred.

Nepal’s most dependable T20 batter Dipendra Singh Airee also got a start, scoring 24 runs off 18 balls, but couldn’t lift in the chase, caught at mid-off trying to hit three consecutive boundaries in an over. At one point, everyone thought the Nepali captain would pull off a historic run chase, but he edged one trying to hit a boundary off Matthew Forde in the penultimate over of the game.

Nepal needed 13 runs from the final 7 balls when Pratish GC hit a brilliant four over mid-off, reducing the target to 9 runs in the last over. It was Gulsan Jha who struck two consecutive fours over mid-off to chase down the mammoth total of 205 runs with two balls to spare.

This was Nepal’s highest successful run chase in T20 cricket.

The teams meet again on Saturday.

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