Michael van Lingen struck his second ODI century for hosts Namibia in their final home match of CWC League 2 to set up a comfortable 86-run win over Nepal at Windhoek. The victory solidifies Namibia's claim on a top three finish in the competition and direct progression to the World Cup Qualifier, while Nepal's chances of avoiding a bottom-two finish continue to recede.
Van Lingen ton sets up Namibia win over Nepal
Still in search of their first win of the tour, Nepal had made early inroads after winning the toss and inviting their hosts to bat. Sompal Kami found Diwan la Cock's outside edge and Sagar Dhakal clean bowled Lo-handre Louwrens to reduce the hosts to 34-2, but struggled for penetration as the shine went off the ball. Van Lingen and skipper Gerhard Erasmus added 99 for the third wicket to take the Eagles to 133-2 before Erasmus became the first of Lalit Rajbanshi's four victims, picking out the cover sweeper with a lofted checked drive.
Nicol Loftie Eaton's brisk 40 off 32 kept the scoreboard ticking over before miscuing a reverse sweep to backward point off Rajbanshi, but despite the left arm spinner following up with the wicket of JJ Smit, van Lingen pressed on undeterred. After going to three figures pulling Sompal Kami off the hip behind square for four to round off the 47th, van Lingen began to cut loose, taking Gulsan Jha for three consecutive boundaries before finally holing out off Kami for 119 in the penultimate over. Pikky Ya France chipped in with a couple of more boundaries as the hosts looked to finish with a flourish, though Rajbanshi would have the final word in the innings, claiming Zane Green's wicket with the final ball to finish with figures of 4-36 in 10.
Nonetheless the hosts were the happier unit at the break with a total of 275-7 on the board, and Smit would strike twice in the powerplay, Green taking a thick edge in front of slip to send back Kushak Bhurtel and Aasif Sheikh edging low to gully, to put Nepal even further behind. A fifty partnership between Arjun Saud and Gyanendra Malla dragged Nepal back into the game, but both would fall in quick succession as Malla called Saud through for an impossible single and Erasmus had him run out for 29, before Malla was cleaned up by van Lingen's newly-developed left-arm spin in the next over.
Young skipper Rohit Paudel sought to muster some middle-order resistance, and another half century partnership with Dipendra Singh Airee briefly revived Nepal's hopes, but neither could pass fifty themselves, Airee pinned LBW on the back pad by Ya France for 34 and Paudel well caught at deep backward square off Ruben Trumpelmann for 44 as Nepal slipped to 165-7. The tail could muster just 34 more runs between them as Tangeni Lungameni wrapped things up for the hosts,.Nepal were all out for 189 with three overs unused.
The win takes Namibia clear in third place on 37 points with six matches to play, already assured of retaining ODI status and well placed to secure a crucial podium finish. The USA in fourth have played all their matches, leaving the UAE - currently on 27 points with ten matches in hand - as their nearest rivals for bronze.
Nepal meanwhile face a tough task if they are to avoid finishing in the bottom two and thus risking relegation and loss of ODI status at the Qualifier Play-Off. Currently on just 18 points from 23 games ,Nepal are currently 9 points adrift of the Emiratis and 17 behind the USA, though they do have 13 matches still to play including two home series, as well as the final match of this tour against Scotland tomorrow.