In a thrilling T20 World Cup qualifying match at the TU ground in Kirtipur, Nepal fell just short of victory against Oman, losing by a mere 5 runs. The result has left Nepal as the runner-up in Group A, setting the stage for an exciting semi-final clash against the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Chasing Oman’s target of 146 runs, Nepal put up a spirited effort but could only manage to score 140 runs, losing all their wickets in the allotted 20 overs. The match reached a nail-biting climax, with Nepal needing 26 runs in the last over to secure the win. It was Bibek Yadav who kept the hopes of victory alive, smashing consecutive sixes in the first three balls. However, the drama intensified when Bibek was dismissed on the fourth ball, and in the final ball of the match, Karan KC was also sent back to the pavilion. With 6 runs needed off the last ball, Oman held their nerve to win by a slim margin of 5 runs, emerging as the winners of Group A.
Bibek Yadav’s valiant innings of 39 runs from 24 balls, including 5 sixes, was the standout performance for Nepal. Kushal Bhurtel contributed 26 runs, while Karan KC added 15 runs to the tally. Captain Rohit Paudel, Sompal Kami, and Sandeep Zora all chipped in with 12 runs each, and Kushal Malla managed 10 runs. Unfortunately, the rest of the team couldn’t reach double-digit scores.
On the other side, Oman, after losing the toss and being invited to bat, posted a total of 145 runs for the loss of 9 wickets in their allocated 20 overs. Oman’s captain, Zeeshan Maqsood, played a pivotal role in their innings with a score of 32, while Naseem Khushi added 25, Pratik Athavale contributed 24 runs, and Sakil Ahmed notched up 22 runs. The remaining batsmen struggled to make a significant impact.
In the bowling department, it was Nepal’s Karan KC who shone, taking 3 crucial wickets. Sompal Kami and Sandeep Lamichhane both picked up 2 wickets each, while Gulshan Jha and Avinash Bohora managed to secure a wicket each.
This loss against Oman in the final match of the group stage of the T20 World Cup Asia Qualifiers was a heart-wrenching one for Nepal. However, their strong performance throughout the tournament has earned them a spot in the semi-finals, where they will go head-to-head with the UAE for a chance to advance to the final.As the cricket world watches with bated breath, Nepal’s talented squad is gearing up for the semi-final clash, hoping to bounce back from this narrow defeat and secure their spot in the prestigious T20 World Cup. The upcoming match promises to be a thrilling encounter, with the nation’s hopes pinned on the resilience and determination of their cricketing heroes.