Photo Credit: Cricket Scotland
Scotland’s Men were crowned Cricket World Cup League Two champions in Kirtipur on Tuesday after a brilliant effort across thirty-six ODI matches since 2019.
Twenty four wins were recorded during the series, but the Scots could not quite finish the tournament with a win as a brilliant 95 not out from Nepal skipper Rohit Paudel – and a 75 run partnership with Karan KC (31 not out) – saw the hosts win a thriller by two wickets.
It was Head Coach Shane Burger’s last match at the helm after four years in charge of Scotland and while the South African would have liked four wins on this tour, his team claimed two against Namibia and have given him everything over the last week or so.
Scotland skipper Richie Berrington said after Tuesday’s match: “It was a great occasion and a great game of cricket.
“There were moments in that game where we could have found ways to win it, but unfortunately we didn’t quite do enough in the end.
“To get ourselves into a position to potentially win we had done things better than in the previous two games and the guys were very disciplined and stuck to their jobs.
“A lot of credit has to go to the Nepal captain Rohit for getting his team over the line with an excellent knock.
“In general, there are so many positives to take from this trip. There were a lot of good individual performances, the young guys have come in and shown our depth and as a team we stood up well to the challenges of the different conditions and playing in front of some amazing crowds.
“This trip will stand us in good stead for what is ahead.”
Scotland will now return home to prepare for the 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier which begins in June in Zimbabwe.
Batting first, they got off to a good start in front of a sell-out crowd, progressing to 42 by the eighth over until Kyle Coetzer was out LBW to Sandeep Lamichhane.
Coetzer had made 22 off 23 balls when Chris McBride joined George Munsey at the crease.
The latter was really finding his range on his 30th birthday and by the time he was out for an excellent 60 off just 50 balls including nine 4s and two 6s, his team had reached 89 in the 14th over.
Lamichhane struck a double blow, bowling Munsey before then trapping Berrington LBW the very next ball to make it 89-3.
The score progressed to 117 before McBride was out LBW to Kushal Malla and then Tom Mackintosh fell just one run later.
Matthew Cross and Brandon McMullen then settled things down and steadied the ship with a 57 run sixth wicket partnership.
Cross was then run out for 42 off 63 balls and when Michael Leask, McMullen (31) and Sole followed him back to the pavilion it left Scotland on 196-9.
Mark Watt and Safyaan Sharif put on 16 runs for the last wicket, but Scotland were all out for 212 in the 47th over when the former was caught by Dipendra Singh Airee off the bowling of Karan KC.
Lamichhane led the way with the ball with 4-45 and Karan KC took 3-42.
In reply, Nepal got off to a poor start when Kushal Bhurtel was out LBW to Watt off just the seventh ball of the innings.
McMullen then had Aasif Sheikh caught by Coetzer and when Gyanendra Malla was out LBW to Watt, Nepal were 34-3 in the 11th over.
Chris Greaves and Leask then got in on the wicket taking action to leave the home side 61-5 and their supporters were quiet at that point.
Paudel and Singh Airee got things back on track with a 42 run partnership to take their side up and over 100 before the latter was bowled by Greaves.
By the 32nd over they had slipped to 138-8 and with 75 still needed to win, Scotland looked the favourites, but Paudel and Karan KC had other ideas.
They put together a stunning partnership under pressure, and the crowd erupted when Paudel, later named Player of the Match, hit the winning runs with a 4 off the first ball of the 45th over bowled by Sharif.
Watt took 3-29, Greaves 2-61 and the three other bowlers used all took one wicket apiece for the Scots.