2006 ICC Intercontinental Cup - Challenge Match
Nepal were forced out of the 2006 Intercontinental Cup by a rugged Namibia side who claimed the vital eighth qualifying spot thanks to a draw at the Wanderers Ground in Windhoek.
The first day’s play was washed out due to rain which immediately hurt Nepal’s chances of forcing the victory that they would have needed to qualify. Batting first Namibia knew that a big first innings held the key to the match and from 32-2 and then 60-4 proceeded, thanks to captain Deon Kotze’s partnership with Gerry Snyman, to put Namibia into a pretty unassailable position. Snyman (60) dominated the 97-run stand but it was Deon with brother Bjorn who really ensured that Nepal would be unable to gain control on the first day. In a dour, attritional stand during the afternoon session, the Kotzes took Namibia to 245 for 6 by close of play.
Their stand was broken early on in the following morning once Deon Kotze was caught at slip by Shakthi Gauchan off Binod das for 94. Das then ran through the tail to finish with figures of 6-80.
Nepal started their reply brightly but once the openers Paresh Lohani and Kanishka Chaugai departed the middle order faltered and only some patient batting by Akhtar and Katuwal rescued Nepal from 91-7 and took them to 143 all out late on the second day.
129-runs behind Namibia on the first-innings a Nepali win looked highly unlikely and so it proved. Given the freedom that playing for victory gives, Namibia’s batsmen were much more positive on the final day’s play and ultimately declared on 239 for 6 to give them a chance to force victory in the final session.
A target of 369 off 40 overs was never feasible for Nepal and they batted out the match for the loss of three wickets.
Had the match been played in Kathmandu, it may have been a different story. Namibia’s team had a number of players who played in the 2003 World Cup and their greater competitive exposure was apparent. Nevertheless, Nepal impressed onlookers as being a pretty good side.
UAE are now Asia’s sole representatives in this year’s Intercontinental Cup and their first fixture will be against Namibia in November.
Namibia v Nepal
23-26 March 2006
Namibia won the toss and elected to bat
Namibia: 272 off 16.2 overs (A. Burger 43, D. Kotze 94, G. Snyman 60; B. Das 6-80) and 239 for 6 decl off 62 overs (L. Burger 58, G. Snyman 78*)
Nepal: 143 off 75.4 overs and 70 for 3 off 24 overs
Filed March 28 2006