US World Cup hopes in trouble after second defeat

Shayan Jahangir of USA celebrates his century during the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier Zimbabwe 2023 match against Nepal at Takashinga Cricket Club yesterday in Harare.

HARARE, Zimbabwe (CMC):

GUYANA-BORN GAJANAND Singh got a start but failed to carry on while Barbados-born captain Aaron Jones made only two as United States suffered their second straight defeat at the ICC World Cup Qualifiers with a six-wicket loss to Nepal yesterday.

The left-handed Gajanand, who struck an unbeaten maiden One-Day International (ODI) hundred against West Indies on Sunday, managed only 26 this time around as the USA posted 207 all out off 49 overs.

They were carried by Shayan Jahangir, the Pakistan-born right-hander lashing a 79-ball, unbeaten 100 with 10 fours and three sixes – his maiden ODI century.

The 28-year-old featured for Barbados Royals in the Caribbean Premier League three seasons ago.

In reply, Nepal cruised to their target off 43 overs, Bhim Sharki top-scoring with an unbeaten 77 off 114 deliveries, with Dipendra Singh Airee (39 not out) and opener Kushal Bhurtel (39) playing supporting roles.

With the defeat, the USA slipped to fourth of five teams in Group A while Nepal moved into third on two points with their first win.

Sent in at Takashinga Sports Club, the USA slumped to 18 for four in the 10th over before being revived by Sushant Modani (42) who anchored a crucial stand of 47 with Gajanand for the fifth wicket.

When wickets tumbled again to leave the innings tottering on 94 for six in the 28th over, Jahangir put on 34 for the seventh wicket with Nisarg Patel (8), 42 for the eighth wicket with Jessy Singh (12) and a further 37 for the ninth wicket with Saurabh Netravalkar (4), to rally the tail.

Nepal then enjoyed a steady start to their run chase, Sharki adding 49 for the second wicket with Bhurtel, 38 for the third with captain Rohit Paudel (16), before anchoring a match-winning 74-run, unbroken partnership with Dipendra.

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