From playing Division League 5 to playing his maiden ODI in 2018, Nepal skipper Paras Khadka has come a long way. The first time Khadka played for Nepal was in 2014. After playing their first List A match in 2014, it took four years for Nepal to get the ODI status. But they did not get the perfect start, losing to Netherlands after a dramatic batting collapse in the first ODI. But this was just a minor setback of Khadka’s career, he had come a long way to lose heart after just one ODI.
After a sensational four-wicket haul in the first ODI, it was time for Khadka to show his batting prowess. He scored his maiden ODI half-century which helped Nepal a respectable score of 216 against Netherlands. He had support from youngster Sompal Kami who scored a quickfire 61 to get his side past 200.
Kami struck in first over but the Dutch recovered quickly. Their top order was doing fine until the 29th over. The Nepalese forced a middle order batting collapse reducing the hosts from 114 for 2 wickets to 143 for 6 wickets. The 18-year-old leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane spun a web around the batsmen taking three wickets.
The Dutch lower order put up a fight and the game came right down to the wire. Netherlands needed 6 runs off the last 6 balls and Khadka decided to soak up the pressure and bowl the last over.
4 runs were scored off the first 4 balls, 2 through singles followed by a couple of runs. The penultimate delivery whizzed past the bat, Khadka appealed but the Umpire turned his head sideways. Importantly, it was a dot ball. All the three results were possible — a tie, win for Nepal and win for Netherlands.
The 30-year-old bowled pitched it up and Fred Klassen went for the shot. Unfortunate for him, the shot could not find the gap but hit the non-striker’s stumps. A single was still on, Khadka turned back in an instant, picked the ball and uprooted the stump before Klassen could make his ground.
Commentator says: ‘King of Nepal, Paras Khadka’.
— Mira Dhakal (@dhakalmira) August 3, 2018
Only one man was capable of doing that!! What a cool and calm display of Cricketing Mind!! Oh, Paras Khadka! You Beauty!
Congratulations Nepalese Cricket Team!!
— Subigya Parajuli (@kp_subigya) August 3, 2018
— जनै हराएको बाहुन (अदृश्य पाना) (@bishalPant100) August 3, 2018
— Rohan Basnet (@iamrohanbasnet) August 3, 2018
It was Khadka’s presence of mind which ensured Nepal win the match by 1 run. After the bails are dislodged with a shot, stumps need to be uprooted off the ground to claim a run-out and that’s exactly what he did.
Hijo jeet Syavasi , Nepal. Congratulations on your thrilling first ODI victory, Nepal. Hopefully, it is the first of many. Best wishes.
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) August 4, 2018
Super stuff from Nepal. Competed well in the first ever ODI. Registered their first win today. First of many…Go Well in the future.
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) August 3, 2018
NEPAL HAVE DONE IT! with two to win off the Last ball, a drive drilled into the non strikers stumps. Khadka ran and scooped, ripped out the stumps and that was it! Nepal win by one run! Epic cardiac kids are back again!
— Peter Della Penna (@PeterDellaPenna) August 3, 2018
— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) August 4, 2018
— Daniel Alexander (@daniel86cricket) August 3, 2018
Congratulations Team Nepal for the first ODI victory. Cheers!!! pic.twitter.com/FN5YLjpihC
— Subash B Shahi (@SubashDhangadhi) August 3, 2018
What a win !! Nothing could be better than this. First win as an ODI Nation. Great team effort. Great contribution from everyone. Well done @Sompal_Kami dai & @paras77 dai for your brilliant innings. Well done everyone. Proud of Everyone. Jai Nepal!! pic.twitter.com/lmkxQIzun5
— Sandeep Lamichhane (@IamSandeep25) August 3, 2018
Thank you to all of our fans,supporters,well wishers and everyone who loves Nepal cricket..
Our First ODI win and together let us all carry the dreams of the whole country for more better results in future …
JAI NEPAL …!! pic.twitter.com/syh5Q1URD0
— Paras Khadka (@paras77) August 4, 2018
The all-rounder is considered as a legend of Nepal cricket. The cricketer who made the ODI and T20I status possible. Nepal may excel in the sport in the coming years but they will always have Khadka to thank for his contribution to take them to this stature.