Christchurch: Canada has kept its slim hopes of qualifying for the Super Six stage of the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2014 (CWCQ) alive with a 12-runs victory over Nepal.
In a vital Group A clash at Hagley Oval, Christchurch, both Canada and Nepal were looking for their first win of the tournament. After rain delayed the start of play and reduced the game to 41 overs per side, Canada elected to bat and set about scoring runs quickly.
Nineteen-year-old opener Nitish Kumar posted a rapid-fire 67, including five fours and the only two sixes of the Canada innings, however, the day belonged to middle-order batsman Raza-ur-Rehman, whose knock of 89 came from just 87 balls. When Raza was run out in the 35th over, the middle and lower orders carried on the good work, with Hamza Tariq adding 34 runs before the side reached 255 for the loss of nine wickets from its 41 overs.
Sompal Kami was the pick of the Nepal bowlers, claiming three for 64 runs, while Basant Regmi picked up two for 51 runs.
The Nepal run chase started ominously, with opener Sagar Pun dismissed for a duck in the first over. Pradeep Airee steadied the ship with a knock of 26, before Gyanendra Malla added 86 runs. Tail-ender Basant Regmi scored a quick-fire 25 from 17 balls to no avail. Nepal reached 243 for eight wickets, 13 runs short of its target.
Khurram Chohan was the stand out bowler for Canada, claiming four wickets for 59 runs.
Canada will now face Scotland in its final Group stage match in an ODI encounter that both sides need to win to secure the final Group A spot in the Super Six stage of the tournament.
Canada: 255 for 9 (Raza-ur-Rehman 89, Nitish Kumar 67, Kami 3-64)
Nepal: 243 for 8 (Malla 86, Khurram Chohan 4-59)
Result: Canada won by 12 runs
MOM: Raza ur-Rehman (Canada)