Namibia shocks Nepal in inaugural match of ICC World Cup League 2

NL Today

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Kathmandu: In a gripping start to the ICC Cricket World Cup League 2, Namibia secured a commanding victory over Nepal, defeating the Rhinos by four wickets in the inaugural match held at TU International Ground in Kathmandu on Thursday.

Opting to field after winning the toss, Namibia’s decision paid off handsomely as they skittled out the Nepali team for a mere 132 runs in 41.1 overs. Gerhard Erasmus was the star performer for the tourists, claiming a remarkable five-wicket haul to dismantle Nepal’s batting lineup.

Nepal’s innings got off to a shaky start, with the team reeling at 21-4 after losing skipper Rohit Paudel early on. Opener Kushal Bhurtel departed for a golden duck, while Anil Sah and Kushal Malla failed to make significant contributions. Bhim Sharki fought valiantly with a gritty 44, but it wasn’t enough to propel Nepal to a competitive total.

In response, Namibia chased down the target with relative ease, reaching 134 runs in 33.1 overs. Jan Frylinck led the charge with a composed 34, ably supported by Nicol Loftie-Eaton and Michael van Ligen. Despite Sompal Kami’s three-wicket haul for Nepal, Namibia maintained their composure to secure the win.

Looking ahead, Nepal will face the Netherlands in their next match of the tri-series on Saturday. This match marks the beginning of a series of 24 tri-series events that constitute the qualification process for the 2027 Cricket World Cup.

League 2, which also features Canada, Oman, Scotland, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States, has expanded to include eight teams. Each tri-series will comprise six matches, resulting in a total of 144 one-day internationals over the League 2 cycle.

The top four teams from League 2 will directly advance to the 2027 Cricket World Cup Qualifier, while the bottom four teams will have a chance to qualify through the Cricket World Cup Qualifier Playoff.