The BSP PNG Barramundis notched up their first win in the ICC World Cricket League Championships (WCLC) by defeating Nepal in a last over thriller by two wickets at the Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi (UAE) yesterday.
After winning the toss, Nepal elected to bat first on another warm day in Abu Dhabi, but they got off to the worst possible start with young BSP PNG Barramundis opening fast bowler, Norman Vanua trapping AK Madal LBW off the first ball off the day. After this disastrous start, Nepal steadied and managed to frustrate the BSP PNG Barramundis bowlers, building valuable partnerships. S Vesawakar (78) and SP Khakurel (63) were the main contributors, both making classy half centuries with the bat for the Nepalese, guiding them to a respectable 8/232 off their allotted 50 overs. Twin off-spin bowlers in Assad Vala (3/32) and Mahuru Dai (2/48) were the best with the ball for the BSP PNG Barramundis.
In reply, the BSP PNG Barramundis got off to a rapid start thanks to a 26-ball 30 from Tony Ura. A steady fall of wickets however hampered the chase, with the BSP PNG Barramundis slumping to 4/97 in 22 overs after in-form Sese Bau was caught for a scratchy 15 runs. Dai (16) and Captain Jack Vare (1) were then dismissed shortly after that to reduce the BSP PNG Barramundis to 6/138 inside 30 overs. Still needing a further 95 runs for victory, Charles Amini Jnr joined Vala to steady the Barramundis innings. They both batted very sensibly adding 65 runs for the seventh wicket, before Amini was bowled by Sompal Kami for 35. Vala continued to knock the Nepalese bowlers around, playing the anchor role in the chase, scoring a brilliant 87 runs before being dismissed eight runs short of the target. Needing six runs off the last over, John Boge Reva nudged B Regmi for consecutive 2s off the first two balls, before smashing a boundary off the third ball to give the BSP PNG Barramundis victory by two wickets with only three balls remaining.
The BSP PNG Barramundis will have a rest day today, before playing Nepal again in their second Round 2 WCLC match at Zayed Cricket Stadium tomorrow.
Nepal 8/232 (50) S Vesawakar 78, SP Khakurel 63, Assad Vala 3/32, Mahuru Dai 2/48 defeated by BSP PNG Barraundis 8/235 (49.3) Assad Vala 87, Charles Amini Jnr 35, Tony Ura 30, P Khadka 2/29, M Alam 2/38 by 2 wickets (with 3 balls remaining)