Nepal secure ODI status for first time

ANI | Updated: Mar 16, 2018 14:42 IST

Dubai [UAE], March 16 (ANI): Nepal have grabbed ODI status for the first time in their cricket history by clinching a six-wicket win over Papua New Guinea (PNG) in the play-off match of the ICC World Cup Qualifiers at the Old Hararians Sports Club.

On Thursday, Nepal bagged the final ODI spot until 2022 after setting up a seventh-eighth position play-off against the Netherlands, who defended a small total of 174 to beat Hong Kong by 44 runs.

Irrespective of the outcome of the match between Netherlands and Nepal , the latter side have joined Scotland and the UAE as the three highest-ranked Associate Members after the Netherlands--who qualified last year for the new 13-team ODI League commencing in 2020 by winning the ICC World Cricket League Championship--which was the criteria to earn ODI status for the next four years.

In contrast, Hong Kong and PNG have lost their ODI status and will be relegated to the ICC World Cricket League Division 2, but not before featuring in the 4000th ODI, which will be played at the Old Hararians on Saturday.

Dipendra Airee was Nepal's star performer when the off-spinner took four for 14 to spin PNG out 114 in 27.2 overs, and then scored an unbeaten half-century after his side had slipped to 35 for three.

Sandeep Lamichhane was another one to produce an impressive effort, grabbing four for 29.

With only 115 runs needed to win the match, all Nepal needed was one batsman to bat around and Airee took on that responsibility as he came to bat at number fourth spot and smashed an unbeaten 50 runs to help his side chase down the target with 27 overs to spare.(ANI)