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PNG clean sweep Nepal as Dipendra ton goes in vain

Dipendra Singh Airee joined the elite club of centurions and Dev Khanal marked a memorable debut with a gritty half century but Nepal were clean swept by a fighting Papua New Guinea (PNG) side losing the second One Day International by three wickets.

Having lost the first ODI by just six runs, Nepal batted first in the second and scored an imposing 278-8 in 50 overs. It was Nepal’s second highest score in the format spurred on by a maiden international century for Dipendra whose previous best score was 40.

PNG recovered from an early setback on the back of a decent display from the middle order to reach 283-7 with eight balls to spare. Consecutive dismissals from Sompal Kami had reduced PNG to 9-2 before PNG recovered through Lega Siaka.

Charles Amini (35) and Siaka shared 69 runs for the third wicket but it was the century partnership between the latter and Sese Bau that laid the foundation in PNG victory.

Siaka and Bau (38) shared 110 runs for the fourth wicket. Although PNG lost both wickets in a space of 13 runs, Riley Hekure led the charge from the middle order before Chad Soper (16) sealed the victory with a six.

Dev Khanal has shown promise scoring a gritty 86-ball 72 in his debut international tournament.

Man-of-the-match Siaka scored a 102-ball 90 hitting 12 fours and a six. Hekure contributed an invaluable 48 not out from 45 balls with three fours and two sixes. Sompal took 3-38 from nine overs and Pawan Sarraf returned the figures of 2-45.

Earlier, Nepal lost opener Kushal Bhurtel in the first ball and Anil Kumar Sah (one) in the first ball of the third with just five runs on the board. Dev and Dipendra resurrected the Nepali innings with a 129-run partnership.

Dev had a slow start but picked up in the game scoring an 86-ball 72 hitting four boundaries and three sixes. Then it was all Dipendra in the game for Nepal.

He shared 58 runs with in-form Rohit Kumar Paudel (35) and 55 runs with Bhim Sharki (26) scoring in century in 136 deliveries. He is now Nepal’s third ODI centurion joining former captain Paras Khadka and Rohit. Rohit had scored 126 in the first ODI of the series. Dipendra’s 140-ball 105 included seven hits to the fence.

Skipper Sandeep Lamichhane struck a 9-ball 24 to take Nepal close to 280. Alei Nao took 3-48 and Norman Vanua took 2-64 for PNG.

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