Nepal made the history on Thursday when they achieved the One Day International status for the first time following their six-wicket win over Papua New Guinea in the Cricket World Cup Qualifiers 2018 in Harare. Nepal's ODI status is secured until 2022 at the expense of their Asian rival.
When they came into the tournament, Nepal Cricket Board was suspended by the ICC since 2016, but they played outstanding cricket in Zimbabwe and made a spectacular return to the ICC folds.
Nepal brilliantly bowled out Papua New Guinea for just 114 with some stunning bowling from Sandeep Lamichhane (4/29) and Dipendra Singh Airee (4/14) in the 22nd Match Playoff at Old Hararians Sports Club in Harare.
And then, they chased down the target in just 23 overs as Airee took responsibility and scored 50* to help Nepal to beat PNG and become an ODI nation. Nepal skipper Paras Khadka lauded his team's brilliant effort in the tournament after claiming ODI status for the first time.
According to a report in AFP, Khadka said, “It’s massive. It’s something we have worked towards for a very long time. As a team, we’ve been pushing ourselves. We’re very glad that we’re winning games through different situations, players are standing up and everyone’s contributing.
As a captain, I’m very happy to lead such an amazing bunch of boys. We’ve always been hungry to do well. It's a dream come true so we're very very happy. Let's hope we can keep improving. It's probably the biggest day in our cricket history."
He signed off by saying, “It's been just incredible commitment from everyone involved. The players, the coaches. I think about the years and years of hard work, persistence, pushing each other. In spite of everything that's wrong with our board, the players have always held their heads high.”
Nepal have achieved ODI status for the first time in their history and a lot of people were very happy about it.— ICC (@ICC) March 16, 2018
Find out what @MClarke23 @InziTheLegend @Mushy_online and @KevinOBrien113 made of the news
Thank you everyone for the support..Just been years and years of toil,persisitance,sacrifices,commitment and hardwork..Finally WE BECOME An ODI nation..— Paras Khadka (@paras77) March 15, 2018
Congratulations to everyone who has been part of Nepal cricket's incredible journey ..
To the well wishers of Nepal Cricket : Its the “Result” of Years of “Hard Work” ! Years of “Patience” ! Hard work of many “Legends” and here we are now. A big proud day for all the people of Nepal????????What a beautiful journey so far. Together its Possible. Nepal - An ODI Nation ! pic.twitter.com/Vvbp1go5yq— Sandeep Lamichhane (@IamSandeep25) March 15, 2018
???????????????????????????? congratulations buddy to you and all the people of Nepal https://t.co/E4emWlTnIv— Michael Clarke (@MClarke23) March 15, 2018