ICC World Cup qualifier: Nepal gains ODI status after win over Papua New Guinea

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New Delhi: In a massive step forward Nepal achieved One-day International (ODI) status on Thursday, after their victory over Papua New Guinea.

Nepal defeated the Pacific nation by six wickets in a playoff game in the ICC World Cup Qualifier being held in Zimbabwe to achieve the distinction for the first time.

The 18-year-old all-around Dipendra Singh Airee’s effective performance with bat and ball drove Nepal to the easy victory, and they got their wish in the other game as well.

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The hopes of Nepal hinged on Netherlands defeating Hong Kong, and they obliged with a 44-run victory. The result meant PNG as well as Hong Kong will lose their ODI status.

Nepal dismissed PNG for 114 in 27.2 overs with their teenaged bowlers doing most of the damage. Leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane (4/29), who has bought by IPL team Delhi Daredevils, and medium-pacer Dipendra Singh Airee (4/14) gave their team chasing a measly target.

In Nepal’s reply, Airee, batting at No 4, struck a breezy 50 not out (58b, 1×4, 3×6) as the team coasted to 115/4 in 23 overs.

After Afghanistan, Nepal is taking quick strides in terms of developments, and their junior team scored a confidence-boosting victory over the India U-19 side last year.

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