Nepalese debut ends in defeat
Mulpani, Kathmandu, Nepal, 3/18/2018
HCA won by 37 runs
Himalayan Cricket Academy: 200 [P.Airee 42, T.Moore 5-17]
View the Scorecard
The bus trip from the Lemon Tree hotel in Thamel to the Mulpani ground on the outskirts of Kathmandu was for most of us our first introduction to this city. I promptly lost the toss on what appeared to be a lightly grassed wicket, and the HCA decided to bat first. We had to get our heads around three power plays with various fielding permutations.
Grant and debutant Clinton Rubagumya (Rwandan national player) bowled decent opening spells, and Grant picked up two wickets and demonstrated some useful skills. Joe settled immediately into a savvy line and length. However, HCA had some very accomplished batsmen, supported by a quick outfield and some sloppy fielding. At one stage they were 82-2 off 12 overs, but then we pulled them back to 165-9, but frustratingly they got to 200. Clinton was the pick of our fielders, and Tim bowled a great spell of 5-17. Again, bizarrely, he had a heavy hangover (parallels with Matara 2016), but bowled very nicely, nagging away outside off-stump, and this was his first (and highly deserved) 5-for for Strongroom.
Our first lunch was actually quite dull - some bland sandwich spread sandwiches and greasy chips!
David Siddal looked really good (27) and got forwards positively to meet the ball. Olly Moore and Davd Gower were both a little unlucky to get caught behind. JG and Ujjal put on 61 for the 4th wicket, and this stand brought us back into the game somewhat. However, we were out in quick succession, and this then out pressure on our lower order. Of the lower order, Clinton played languidly (31), including a huge straight 6. Joe’s dismissal prompted his attack upon his own helmet, in what became known as ‘helmet-gate’! Eventually we fell short by 40 runs. This was an enjoyable game, but we should have got closer.
As our tour bus started its journey back to Thamel, it stopped quite suddenly. Something to do with a jammed wheel / axle. Thankfully we had Grant, who applied his expertise and impressively repaired the bus. While we were waiting we also obliged some young local lads with autographs, as they mistook us for international cricketers! (which we are, right?).
Written By: J.Gower