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04-Jul-2023 16:20:00 GMT
2023 ICC World Cup Qualifier

Ireland beat Nepal in a thriller, secure 7th place

Ireland 269 for 8 (Campher 62, Tector 60, Karan 4-58) beat Nepal 268 for 9 (Gulsan Jha 57, Young 2-36) by 2 wickets

Harare: Over at the Takashinga Cricket Club in Harare, Ireland took on Nepal in a battle for seventh place, with Nepal winning the toss and elected to bowl.

It was the first official ODI meeting between the two sides.

Chasing 269 for a win, Ireland were led by Harry Tector with the bat. The 23-year-old acted as the fulcrum around whom the rest of the batting line-up functioned. Tector walked in at 23/2 with Ireland in some trouble after Andy McBrine and Andrew Balbirnie had fallen in quick succession.

Stirling followed a bit later, but Lorcan Tucker stuck around for Tector to build Ireland a good base.

Just as the partnership seemed to be taking the game away from Nepal, Karan KC returned to scalp Tucker, trapping him in front for 24. Sandeep Lamichhane doubled the advantage when Tector was out caught at deep extra cover.

Curtis Campher resumed from where Tector had left off, and with George Dockrell for company, Ireland chipped away at the target.

Nepal managed to break the stand before the game was done and dusted with Karan KC once again striking. Kishore Mahato sent back Dockrell as the game headed to a thrilling climax.

Gareth Delany and Mark Adair rebuilt carefully, with a 10-run over off Dipendra Singh Airee's 48th over bringing Ireland to the cusp off a win. Karan, however, added a fourth wicket, dismissing Adair to leave Ireland eight down and needing five to win off the final over.

Barry McCarthy hit a four off the second ball in the over to close a tense game for Ireland.

Earlier, Craig Young struck twice early on for Ireland, dismissing the dangerous Kushal Bhurtel and Gyanendra Malla. Arjun Saud and skipper Rohit Paudel rebuilt for Nepal with a half-century stand, but Curtis Campher's golden arm brought an end to the captain's stay in the middle.

Saud fell soon after to Gareth Delany, but Nepal had a resurrection act going on from Bhim Sarki and Kushal Malla. Another half-century stand gave wings to Nepal's surge, but Ireland cut them off with three wickets in quick succession.

Barry McCarthy dismissed Sarki and Andy McBrine trapped Dipendra Singh Airee, fresh off a match-winning knock last game, in front for a duck.

Malla fell next over to McCarthy and Ireland seemed to have gained a decisive edge in the game. However, Sandeep Lamichhane once again proved his worth with the bat while Gulsan Jha joined in on the act with some big hits.

Jha knocked off his third ODI fifty, finding boundaries at regular intervals. Lamichhane hit three fours off Young in the 47th over and Jha followed it up with a six and a four next over.

Despite Adair's double-wicket over, a 13-run final over pushed Nepal to a formidable 268, leaving Ireland with a stiff run chase on their hands.

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