Nepal’s men cricket team on March 15 created history after they secured one-day international status for the first time with a six-wicket victory over Papua New Guinea (PNG) in the ongoing World Cup qualifiers in Harare.
Sandeep Lamichhane and Dipendra Airee were the star players. They picked four wickets each at the Old Hararians Sports Club as Nepal dismissed their opponents for 114 in 27.2 overs after they elected to field first upon winning the toss.
None of the PNG players could cross the 20-run mark in their innings with the highest score being 19 by Charles Amini.
Here’s how Nepal’s magical day started.
— ICC (@ICC) 15 March 2018
In reply, Nepal reached the target in the 23rd over, losing just four wickets in the process. 18-year-old Dipendra Singh Airee scored an unbeaten half-century to ensure that Nepal would become an ODI team until at least 2022, with Papua New Guinea losing their elite status.
WHAT A WAY TO WIN IT!
Dipendra Singh Airee smashes a six to win the game for Nepal and bring up his half-century! _ pic.twitter.com/TOP3M6XMD8
— ICC (@ICC) 15 March 2018
Nepal skipper Paras Khadka hailed his “amazing” team and said: “It’s massive, it’s something we have worked towards for a very long time.”
Soon after Nepal accorded with ODI status by the ICC, former cricket legends Michael Clarke, former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq, Mushtaq Ahmed and others took to Twitter to congratulate Nepal’s side on their achievement.
Congratulations to Nepal on getting the ODI status. Way to go lads. A historic day for your country.
— Mushtaq Ahmed (@Mushy_online) 15 March 2018
Dreams do come true, don’t they? Congrats Nepal on ODI status. Quite excited to see you guys in the ODI arena. #NeverGiveUp
— Waqar Younis (@waqyounis99) 16 March 2018
Nepal get one-day international status. Thats a hell of a story for world cricket. Done it while their board is suspended from the ICC too
— Tim (@timwig) 15 March 2018
Immense Joy and Happiness is when your short of words .Nepal finally an ODI nation.
— Sharad Vesawkar (@SharadCric) 15 March 2018
ODI status for Nepal! Amazing, amazing feat. Dear @EmiratesCricket, I think at least two bilateral tours to Kathmandu need to be organised asap. Per year. For ever. Thanks
— Paul Radley (@PaulRadley) 15 March 2018
_______ congratulations buddy to you and all the people of Nepal https://t.co/E4emWlTnIv
— Michael Clarke (@MClarke23) 15 March 2018
Congrats Nepal on the ODI Status. What a great journey! https://t.co/ZnHcPd05LA
— Inzamam ul Haq (@InziTheLegend) 15 March 2018
Meanwhile, the other play-off game saw Hong Kong lose their ODI place after a defeat by the Netherlands.