KC Karan and Sandeep Lamichhane stitched an unbeaten 51 run partnership for the tenth wicket to take Nepal through to the World Cup qualifiers.
Nepal were staring at defeat after being reduced to 144 for 9 in 42.1 overs in a chase of 195. Karan KC and Sandeep Lamichhane then kept a cool head to take Nepal to the shore and gave them a victory which meant huge in terms of Nepal's cricketing history.
Lamichhane preserved his wicket, while Karan kept the scoreboard ticking. The equation boiled down to 19 runs off nine balls when Karan hit Satsimranjit Dhindsa for a six over long-on, and followed it up with a boundary to the third-man fence. More importantly, Karan took a single off the last ball to retain strike.
With 8 needed off the last over the match went right down to the wire. It was Cecil Pervez bowling the last over for Canada and he managed to not give any runs for the first four balls of the last over. Pervez bowled a wide after that to reduce the equation to one needed off the last ball. Karan hit a low full toss to mid-wicket to complete the formalities.
He remained unbeaten on 42 off 31 balls, which included 36 runs in boundaries, and his unbroken tenth-wicket stand with Lamichhane was worth 51 in 47 balls. Lamichhane made 5 not out off 18 balls in his 38-minute stay at the crease.
In the other match, UAE defeated Namibia by 19 runs to join the other teams in the competition. Shaiman Anwar (77) and Muhammad Usman (59) put on a 120-run stand for the fifth wicket after UAE, who lost the toss, had become 97 for 4. Anwar fell with two balls to go in the innings but had done his job to take UAE to 247 for 6.
UAE had to to win with a good run rate against Namibia and their bowlers got the job done by bowling Namibia out for 228 and give UAE a net run-rate of +1.034 which were superior to the likes of Canada and Nambia both of whom won three games each.
Nepal and UAE join Windies, Afghanistan, Ireland, Zimbabwe, Hong Kong, Netherlands, Scotland and Papua New Guinea to complete the line-up. Only two sides will qualify from this tournament to join the top eight teams for the 2019 World Cup in England. Nepal and UAE will play in the final of the competition on February 15.
Nepal skipper Paras Khadka also expressed his happiness after the match on Nepal's memorable victory.
“I can’t speak, the last wicket made 50 odd runs, cricket is just a winner today. I feel for Canada, one in a million times you would win those games. Things have just worked out for us, we have been working so hard for all these years and eventually, it has happened for us, I am speechless. The fans back home are one of our biggest inspirations and we always thank them. We want to do well, and help Nepal cricket grow” an excited Nepal skipper concluded saying.