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Nepal crowned champions after Dipendra sparks once again

Dipendra Singh Airee marked a remarkable outing concluding with another spledid allround display as Nepal claimed yet another Tri-Nation Twenty20 International Series at home on Monday.

At a sold-out Tribhuvan University Stadium where over 12 thousand supporters thronged the iconic venue, Nepal defeated Papua New Guinea by 50 runs in the final giving Sandeep Lamichhane his first title as the national team captain.

But it was Dipendra who once again proved his worth with a half century and four wickets. Batting first on a tricky surface, Dipendra’s half century and a quickfire innings from Karan KC lifted Nepal to a challenging 168-6 in 20 overs.

Dipendra then returned to take 4-18 from four overs as Nepal bundled out PNG for just 118 runs in 16.1 overs. Sese Bau led a lonely battle scoring a 38-ball 59 for PNG smashing six sixes while rest of the batting order terribly flopped.

Karan also had his day taking 3-27 from three overs. Charles Amini (15) was PNG’s only remaining batsman to reach double figures. Skipper Sandeep Lamichhane also took 2-25 for the hosts who had also won a Tri-Nation Series a year ago in a tournament that involved the Netherlands and Malaysia.

Earlier, Kushal Bhurtel (25) and Aasif Sheikh (29) both got the starts but couldn’t convert to a big total. Semo Kamia produced a burst of one-over spell in the 12th over when he dismissed Aasif, his borther Aarif (duck) and Dilip Nath (duck) in a space of five deliveries reducing Nepal to 82-5.

Dipendra, who came into the match having smashed his first T20I century against Malaysia in the final match of the group stage, took the leadership with the bat making sure the hosts don’t cave in. He shared 32 runs with Aadil Ansari (15) and the job was done when Karan came in to smash a 12-ball 33 and together with Dipendra added 54 runs from just 24 deliveries.

Karan’s innings included five fours and a six. Dipendra, brought his second half century in the series, making 38-ball 54 not out with five hits to the fence.

With a total of 225 runs from five games at an average of 85 and seven wickets in total, Dipendra was adjudged the man-of-the-series. Karan ended up taking 13 wickets, while Sandeep was second in the list having taken 11 scalps.  

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