Day 3 Report

NEPAL AND MALAYSIA SETTLE FOR A DRAW

The day began with Nepal batting with a comfortable 101-run lead over Malaysia when the pace and swing of Malaysia’s Navaratnam deceived Paresh Lohani (27) as he fished for the ball only to be caught behind.

After their first innings batting collapse, Nepal were determined to regain their past form. Sharad Veshawkar (23) and Gyanendra Malla (27) put on a masterful 54-run partnership before Malla too was dismissed as Nepal went in for lunch with the score at 132-3.

A quick first over wicket after lunch saw Paras Khadka (9) out and it seemed Nepal’s top order were starting to fail them yet again. None of the batsmen were able to hold the fort alongside Shakti Gauchan (47) who certainly made his presence felt over a 25-over period. Gauchan was dismissed after Mehboob Alam (8), both of whom fell to great reflex catches in the slips by Esrafiq Aziz.

After what was normality i.e. the rain interrupting play, for over an hour and a half, Nepal batted eight overs to declare at a total of 180-6 leaving Malaysia a target of 245 in 31 overs for an outright win.

A difficult task was only made harder when Suhan Kumar (4) was trapped in front of the stumps in the very first over. Malaysia came close to losing a second wicket in only the third over when Rakesh Madhavan (9) was dropped but there was no such luck for Malaysia when Shakti Gauchan nearly split the stumps with his throw to have Madhavan run out.

Khadka’s attacking field

Nepal maintained their attacking style and soon sensed victory when they had Malaysia dented at 90-7 after 19 overs. Two quick wickets by Paras Khadka (3-15) had Malaysia on the edge but they held on till the 26th over when the match was called off on account of bad light as the game ended in a draw.

Competitions Director Gerard Singam
handing Pradhan his award

The Man of the Match was Raj Kumar Pradhan of Nepal.

SCORES ON THE FINAL DAY

MATCH DRAWN
Nepal: 180-6 Decl. in 70 overs (S. Gauchan 47)
Malaysia: 101-7 after 26 overs (S. Navaratnam 33; P. Khadka 3-15)


Day 2 Report

PRADAN DEMOLISHES MALAYSIA

Malaysia were chasing a total of 222 to equal Nepal’s score but only managed 162 before they were all out in the first innings on the second day at the Kinrara Oval.

The start of the days play saw openers Rakesh Madhavan (12) and Suhan Kumar (40) struggle against the Nepali pace at first. Their defenses held till the fourteenth over before Paras Khadka uprooted Madhavan’s wickets.

On a shaky score of 48-1, Dinesh Muthuraman (5) played a silly shot that lofted high into the air and straight into the open hands of Mehboob Alam at long on. The wicket may have added a little extra pressure onto the batsmen but it was replied to with two beautifully hit, consecutive boundaries through the covers by Suhan Kumar.

Nepal bowled superbly with a string of successive maidens much to the frustration of Kumar who eventually gifted his wicket with a simple catch to Raj Kumar Pradhan to finish at 40 off 78 balls. Malaysia soon had their backs to the wall going in at lunch when they lost two quick wickets of Thushara Kodikara (7) and Suresh Navaratnam (11) with the score at a dismal 96-5.

Navaratnam (foreground) after losing his wicket

Nepal’s dominance continued after lunch as Raj Kumar Pradhan (5-46) and Basanta Regmi halted the run flow of the Malaysians. Krishnamurthi Muniandy (8) was the next batsman to fall prey to Pradhan’s trickery when he tried hitting over the fielders only for Binod Das to take an excellent off-balance catch. The Malaysians struggled to get runs in any form from the spinners and Regmi bowled 10 maidens off his 14 overs.

Raj Kumar Pradhan

Speaking on his performance, Pradhan said, “I was floating the ball and inviting the batsman to come out but none of them did. There was a lot of turn and since they played the ball after the spin, many of them were caught."

A scorching day of play was suddenly brought to a halt when rain delayed play for over an hour. Soon after, Malaysia picked away at the runs and soon had their longest partnership of forty-five for the ninth wicket with Esrafiq Aziz (46) and Rohan Suppiah (9) playing a level-headed innings before the last two wickets fell for a total of 162 leaving Malaysia with a 64-run deficit with Nepal coming in to bat.

Bad light forced a forty five-minute delay before Nepal took to the field for the second innings. The visitors started well, stroking the ball into spaces and getting runs rather easily but lost the wicket of Sharad Veshawkar (23) in the ninth over. At the close of play Nepal were at 37-1 after 11 overs with Paresh Lohani (9*) and Shakti Gauchan (0*) at the crease.

SCORES AT THE END OF DAY TWO

Malaysia First Innings:
162 all out in 81.3 overs (S. Kumar 40, E. Aziz 46; R. Pradhan 5-46)

Nepal Second Innings:
37-1 after 11 overs


Day 1 Report

NEPAL PICK THEMSELVES UP

A disastrous start for the Nepalese team was exactly what Malaysia were aiming for when they put the visitors in to bat after winning the toss – and that is exactly what they got.

Nepal lost their top order at quick intervals and at lunch were at 102-6. The team looked depleted of that much needed attacking force. Malaysia’s bowlers could sense a low score looming and soon had Nepal stumbling at a meagre 122-9. Bowling honors went to Thusara Kodikara (3-44) and Suresh Navaratnam (3-43).

Basanta Regmi edges Suresh Navaratnam to leave Nepal reeling at 108-7

Malaysia looked certain to close out Nepal but none, in either dressing room, expected a last wicket partnership of 104. Tail-enders Raj Kumar Pradhan (68*) and Sanjam Regmi (39) never lost their heads once while on the pitch and played a brilliant knock. Settling in at their own pace, they gradually built a very respectable total of 226 with some sensational stroke play.

Pradhan rebuilding Nepal’s innings

Pradhan smashed eleven fours much to the delight of his coach Roy Dias who said, “It is good to see my bowlers batting well. Maybe the top order can take a few lessons from this innings.”

Nepal were bowled out for 226 in 83.3 overs. The Malaysian batsmen only managed to face four overs from which they got four runs before the match was called of due to rain at 5:35 PM.

Tomorrow sees Malaysia continuing to bat and they can well expect to face the wrath of the well-rested Nepalese pace attack.

MALAYSIA WON THE TOSS AND ELECTED TO FIELD
Scores at the end of Day 1
Nepal: 226 all out in 83.3 overs (S. Regmi 39, R. Pradhan 68*; T. Kodikara 3-44, S. Navaratnam 3-43)
Malaysia: 4-0 after 4 overs

Scorecard

Filed November 24 2006