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Karan fifer, Aasif-Kushal record stand hand Nepal seventh League 2 win

Karan KC once again completed a fifer against Oman but this time for a winning cause as Nepal smashed table toppers Oman by seven wickets for their seventh victory in the ICC Cricket World Cup League 2 Tri-Series on Tuesday.

The strike bowler had also begun the Tri-Series with the figures of 5-38 against the same side but Nepal had surrendered meekly then making just 198 in a slim chase of 212. After providing early breakthroughs on Tuesday, Karan returned the career best figures of 5-33 that saw Oman get bundled out for just 163 in 46.5 overs.

Openers Kushal Bhurtel and Aasif Sheikh then brought record first wicket partnership for the country in the format with Nepal scampering to victory in just 33.1 overs with seven wickets to spare.

The victory meant Nepal remain in the hunt for 2023 World Cup Qualifier from the seven-team League 2 which will send the top three teams into the global selection. Oman, playing their last league game of the event, are at the top with 44 points from 36 games.

Scotland sit second with 28 from 20 matches, while UAE are third with 26 from 22. USA have 21 from 23 matches. Nepal, who have played just 15 matches, climbed up to sixth with 15 points. Namibia (14 off 14) and PNG (2 off 20) are sixth and seventh respectively.  

Kushal and Aasif shared 114 runs for the first wicket making sure the team don’t cave in, in a low chase this time. Aasif top scored in the match with an 86-ball 62 hitting seven fours and a six. It was his second consecutive half century in the Series after missing the first match with injury.

After Karan’s impressive figures, Kushal and Aasif set Nepal on course for big victory.

Kushal, also out of the first game, made 56 off 75 deliveries with five hits to the fence. Dev Khanal (10) played an unwanted reverse sweep throwing his wicket before Rohit Kumar Paudel finished off the chase. Rohit hit a six and a four in his 21-ball 26 not out with former vice-captain Dipendra Singh Airee unbeaten on seven.

Earlier, Karan reduced Oman to 15-2 before skipper Sandeep Lamichhane left them reeling at 49-5 with three wickets in a space of first 19 deliveries he had bowled. Captain Zeeshan Maqsood once again stepped up to rescue his side and got involved in a face saving 83-run stand with Sandeep Goud.

Maqsood, who had struck a century in the first game, made 52 off 100 balls and his departure off Dipendra virtually ended the Omani challenge. Goud chipped in 47 off 91 with three fours and a six.

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