West Indies A bounce back to level Nepal T20 series

The visiting West Indies A bounced back to level the series at 1-1 defeating Nepal by 10 runs in a thrilling contest.

West Indies A celebrate a wicket in their victory over Nepal
West Indies A celebrate a wicket in their victory over Nepal

Seventeen runs were required in the last six balls, but Nepal couldn’t chase down the target of 161 despite the heroics of their skipper Rohit Paudel again, who backed up his hundred in the previous match to score an unbeaten 48-ball 71.

West Indies A won the toss and chose to bat first. Both West Indian openers failed to fire and were dismissed by Sagar Dhakal in the same over during the third over of the Powerplay.

It was Andre Fletcher who stood tall, top-scoring for Windies A with 43 runs off 36 balls. Nepali spinners dominated on the slow wicket, taking wickets at regular intervals. Windies A skipper Roston Chase scored 23 off 22 balls, becoming their third-highest scorer.

Gudakesh Motie played a brilliant cameo at the end smashing 33 runs off just eight balls, which helped them set a target of 161. He also picked up 2 wickets for 22 runs in his 4 overs, and was a unanimous Player of the Match recipient.

In reply, Nepal failed to capitalize on the powerplay and found themselves in deep trouble, losing four wickets for just 28 runs.

Opening batsman Lokesh Bam retired hurt on the first ball of the third over but returned in the fifth over when Nepal lost Anil Sah as their second wicket. Kushal Bhurtel was the first to be dismissed when he attempted to pull Obed McCoy but was caught at short square leg.

Kushal Malla was run out for the second time in a row, this time for a duck. It was left-hander Gulshan Jha who put Nepal back on track with a quickfire 26 off just 11 balls, however he was cleaned up by West Indies skipper Roston Chase.

Nepali skipper Paudel once again stood tall as wickets fell from the other end, remaining unbeaten on 71 off 48 balls. He needed to hit two sixes on the final two deliveries, but was unable to connect. Both Obed Mcoy and Gudakesh Motie grabbed two wickets apiece, with fast bowler Oshane Thomas and skipper Chase adding a wicket each to their names.

In hindsight, it was the death over bowling that made the difference between the two sides. While Nepali bowlers conceded 41 runs in the last two overs, Windies A bowlers gave away just 15 runs. Experienced West Indies A bowlers came up with a plan and executed it well by constantly bowling short, using their variations in the middle overs, and delivering perfect yorkers in the death.

The two sides meet on May 1 for the third T20 at the same venue.

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