Karan KC

All-round Karan KC stars in Nepal's thrilling win

Karan KC

Karan KC excelled with both bat and ball to set up a nervy four-wicket win over Netherlands on the penultimate ball of match five of the Oman pentangular T20I series on Monday, 7 October. The right-arm paceman first dismantled Netherlands line-up with brilliant returns of 4/17 from 3.3 overs, and later, followed his good work with a blazing 14-ball 31*.

Earlier, Nepal captain Paras Khadka opted to bowl at the Al Amerat Cricket Ground. His ace spinner Sandeep Lamichhane, who finished with 4/20, struck on the first ball of his over, dismissing Netherlands opener Tobias Visee for just four. Max O'Dowd, who top-scored for his team with a measured 43 from 44, shared crucial stands of 47 and 41 with Tonny Staal (21 from 14) and Colin Ackermann (29 from 20) before Lamichhane sent him back in the fifteenth over.

Nepal bolwers kept striking at regular intervals – Lamichhane and Karan did most of the damage – sharing eight wickets between them. None of the Netherlands batsmen showed resistance; Scott Edwards (16) was the only other batsman to score in double digits as Netherlands were folded for a paltry 133.

Set a mere 134 to win, Nepal lost opener Pawan Sarraf and their No.3 Aarif Sheikh inside the first eight overs. Captain Khadka, who made 33 from 41, stayed firm at the crease for the most part of the chase, however, when he was dismissed in the 14th over, Nepal were stuttering at 74/4, still 60 runs behind the target.

Binod Bhandari made a crucial contribution with his 22-ball 26, however, it was Karan's fiery knock that took Nepal across the line on the penultimate ball. His 14-ball innings featured three sixes and a four.

Kevin O'Brien's blazing hundred set up a comfortable 66-run win for Ireland in match six of the Oman pentangular series against Hong Kong. O'Brien made a quick 124 off 62, en route to his match-defining knock, he also became the first Ireland batsman to score a T20I century.

Opting to bat, Ireland got off to a flier as openers Paul Stirling and O'Brien shared a brilliant 80-run stand. Ehsan Khan provided Hong Kong with the first breakthrough, bowling Stirling for 36. Ehsan also yielded the wickets of Andy Balbirnie (10) and Gareth Delany (19), but O'Brien remained unperturbed and kept the scoreboard ticking. He led Ireland innings from the front, powering them to 208/5 – their third-highest T20I total.

Chasing a big total, Hong Kong got off to a shaky start and kept on losing wickets regularly. They lost their top four batsmen within the first half of their innings. Only Haroon Arshad played a resilient knock, scoring 45 off 27 in his second international outing while Ehsan remained unbeaten on 28. However, with the required rate continuously increasing, it became impossible for Hong Kong to make a comeback in the match.

Delany, Boyd Rankin, and Stuart Thompson picked up two wickets apiece.

Kevin O'Brien 03/04/1984IrelandHong Kong, ChinaNepalNetherlandsKaran KC 10/10/1991