Nepal made a dashing start to the first International Wheelchair Twenty20 cricket tournament that kickstarted at the Tribhuvan University Stadium grounds in Kirtipur on December 14, 2017.
The three-day tri-series tournament, being organized by the Wheelchair Cricket Association (WCA) from December 14-16, 2017, is being held among Bangladesh, Indian and Nepali wheelchair cricket teams.
The first match on December 14 saw Nepali team’s striking win against the Bangladeshi wheelchair cricket team.
Having chosen to field first, the Nepali team smashed the Bangladeshi batting order at 77-9 in this 20-over match with its outstanding bowling performance.
In a 4-over spell each, Nepali bowler Bipin Paudyal claimed 4 wickets giving just 11 runs and Yam Bahadur Shrestha took 2 maiden wickets.
Then the Nepali batting order stepped in and the openers Digam Chemjong Limbu and Nabin Rai continued a dashing performance to make a 62-run partnership.
With the loss of Rai’s wicket, Limbu continued his journey with Jung Bahadur Thapa (11 not out) and finally led the team to success.
Overall, Nepal chased the 77-run target with a loss of just one wicket.
In such match being held for the first time in Nepal, Limbu stood as the top scorer (35 from 46 balls with three boundaries) with Bipin Paudyal receiving ‘Man of the Match’ trophy.
“We played a competitive match for the first time last year with a friendly match against Pakistani wheelchair cricket team. From there on, we have been looking forward to form a national team. We had lost slightly against Pakistan, but this time around we have had good preparations,” says Raju Gurung of the Nepali team.
Meanwhile, Nepali team skipper Himal Aryal said, “We have worked very hard. Since we are playing in our own backyard on a back of support from the home crowd, we will definitely be encouraged to do better. Let’s hope for the best.”
Following the India-Bangladesh and Nepal-India matches on December 15, 2017, the top two teams will advance to the finals on December 16, 2017, marking the conclusion of this tournament being played under round robin format.
While Sushil Koirala Memorial Foundation is supporting the tournament, Kathmandu Cricket Training Centre (KCTC) is offering technical assistance.