KATHMANDU: Captain Rohit Poudel scored a valiant half-century and claimed two wickets as Nepal took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match bilateral ODI series, defeating Canada by four wickets at the TU International Cricket Stadium on Saturday.
Electing to bat first after winning the toss, Canada posted 285 runs for the loss of nine wickets in the allocated 50 overs. Nepal chased down the target, scoring 287 runs for the loss of six wickets with 29 balls to spare.
Canada made a strong start with the bat as its openers added 94 runs for the first wicket. Aaron Johnson scored 65 runs from 62 balls, while Navneet Dhaliwal added a 60-ball 46. After the openers fell, Pargat Singh and Nicholas Kirton continued the momentum with 38 runs and 20 runs, respectively. The visitors, however, lost wickets at regular intervals. Shreyas Movva scored 40 off 42 balls, Uday Bhagwan remained unbeaten with 20 off 15 balls, and Dilpreet Bajwa scored 19 runs off 20 balls to help take Canada to a competitive total of 285 runs for the loss of nine wickets.
Rohit Paudel and Kushal Malla claimed two wickets each for Nepal, while Sompal Kami, Surya Tamang, Pawan Sarraf, and debutant Aakash Chand secured one wicket each for the hosts.
Chasing 286 to win, opener Anil Sah, returning to the national side after a two-year hiatus, scored an aggressive half-century off just 19 balls to spearhead Nepal’s chase. His innings included seven fours and three towering sixes. Although Aasif Sheikh fell cheaply, scoring 10 runs off 16 balls, the third-wicket partnership between Captain Paudel and U-19 Captain Dev Khanal added a record 150 runs for Nepal. This marked Nepal’s highest third-wicket stand in ODIs. Paudel scored 87 runs from 101 balls, and Khanal scored a 76-ball 76. Bhim Sharki contributed 23 runs, Pawan Sarraf added 14 runs, while Kushal Malla and Sompal Kami remained unbeaten at 9 runs each.
Harsh Thaker and Ishwrjot Sohi claimed two wickets for Canada, while Saad Bin Zafar and Dilpreet Bajwa each secured a wicket.
The third match of the series is scheduled for Monday.