Nepal’s senior team won their first international cricket tournament since the 2006 - 2007 ACC Premier League when they beat USA at home in the Final of Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 5. They won by five wickets chasing 172.

Cheered on by the biggest crowd yet seen at the Tribhuvan University Ground, 15,000, the match also broadcast on national television, Nepal were indebted to left-arm spinner Rahul Vishvakarma for victory. His 7-15 pegged USA back from 152 for 3 in the 40th over setting up his top-order batsmen’s successful chase.

Had Singapore conceded just 2 fewer runs in the 250 overs they bowled in their group-stage matches, they would have pipped Nepal for a place in the Final. It is Nepal who move up to Division 4 along with USA, to be played in Italy in August. A top-two finish there will take them to Division 3 (where Hong Kong and Oman wait), the same result will then take them to 2011’s Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 2. A top-four placing in Division 2 (where UAE waits) gets nations into the all-important 12-nation 2013 World Cup Qualifiers (where Afghanistan already has a berth). The six top teams from that event are currently slated to proceed to World Cup 2015.

Bahrain beat Singapore on the last day to clinch third place in Division 5. Those two, along with Malaysia. Bhutan and Kuwait still have chances to reach the World Cup Qualifiers via further WCL events.

Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 5

Filed March 2nd, 2010