KATHMANDU, March 23: Nepal finished seventh in the ICC World T20 Qualifiers as Captain Paras Khadka and Prithu Baskota put up a 75-run partnership for the fifth wicket partnership to topple Papua New Guinea (PNG) by six wickets in the seventh place play off on Friday.
Winning the toss PNG elected to bat at the ICC Global Cricket Academy ground in Dubai and put up 129/5. Nepal met the target losing only four wickets with just a ball remaining.
PNG had defeated Nepal by 35 runs in a crucial group stage match on March 15 to hamper Nepal´s preliminary final qualification. Friday´s victory completed Nepal´s revenge over PNG.
With the win, Nepal can enjoy the 17th rank in the ICC T20 ranking for next two years.
Chasing the 130-run target, Nepali opener Anil Mandal and Pradeep Airee put up 24-run opening stand. Airee was run out after scoring 18 runs off 11 balls. Gyanendra Malla added just a run and Mandal departed scoring only nine runs. When Sharad Vesawkar departed in 10.4 overs scoring only 12 runs of 16 balls, Nepal was at 58/4.
However, skipper Khadka not only anchored the Nepali innings but also played a blistering innings of 62 runs off 43 balls. Prithu Baskota well supported skipper by adding 26 runs off 25 balls to take Nepal to 133/4 in 19.5 overs. Khadka struck six boundaries and a six while Baskota hit three boundaries.
Joel Tom, Hitolo Areni and Chris Amini took a wicket each for PNG.
Earlier, Vani Morea top scored in the PNG innings with unbeaten 34 runs to put up a fighting total. Tony Ura (21 runs off 21 balls) and Christopher Kent (22 runs off 32 balls) were other major contributors for PNG.
Shakti Gauchan took two wickets while Chandra Sawad, Basanta Regmi and Paras Khadka claimed a wicket each.