Centuries from Shai Hope and Nicholas Pooran fired the West Indies to a second successive victory at the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2023 while the Netherlands opened their account.
Put into bat by Nepal, the Windies responded to a sticky start with a mammoth 216-run stand between Hope and Pooran to set their opponents 340 to win.
That proved beyond them as the Windies boosted their net run rate with a 101-run victory.
Meanwhile, the Netherlands bounced back from a narrow defeat to Zimbabwe by beating the USA by five wickets.
Skipper Scott Edwards led from the front with an unbeaten 67 to see them home after the US had made 211 for eight batting first.
Netherlands up and running beat USA
A captain’s knock from Scott Edwards saw the Netherlands to a comfortable win over the USA at the Takashinga Cricket Club in Harare.
For the second game running, wicketkeeper-batter Shayan Jahangir had pulled the USA back into the game, this time making 71 after coming to the crease with his side 46 for four.
Ryan Klein (2/31) did the early damage, including the wicket of Sushant Modani for a duck in the second over before a run was on the board.
Jahangir stemmed the flow of wickets, adding 86 for the seventh wicket with Jessy Singh (38 not out) to get the USA to a respectable total.
Still, 212 was not enough, despite Ali Khan getting Vikramjit Singh caught and bowled for eight in the fourth over.
Max O’Dowd (26) and Wesley Barresi (29) added 46 before both men fell leg before to Jessy Singh (2/35).
Any danger of a wobble was quickly extinguished by Edwards and Teja Nidamanuru (58), who put on 72 for the fifth wicket to take Netherlands to within striking distance.
And while Nidamanuru fell with 57 still required, Edwards and Logan van Beek (12 not out) saw the Dutch home comfortably as they earned a first win in their second match.
Hope and Pooran hit their straps
Two of the West Indies’ most high-profile batters stepped up to see them to a convincing win over Nepal at the Harare Sports Club.
Kyle Mayers (1) and Johnson Charles (0) fell early as the Windies found themselves in a hole after being put into bat.
And when Brandon King (32) was bowled by Sandeep Lamichhane, they were 55 for three with Pooran joining his captain at the crease.
The pair then proceeded to cut loose, Pooran smashing four sixes and 10 fours on his way to a magnificent 115 from 94 balls.
By the time he departed courtesy of Dipendra Singh Airee, who took a stunning return catch, the Windies were on their way to a huge total, sitting on 271 for four with six overs remaining.
Hope kept going, ably supported by Rovman Powell’s 14-ball 29 and an unbeaten 16 from Jason Holder.
The captain eventually fell for 132, caught in the deep in the final over as the Windies finished on 339 for seven.
This tournament has seen a number of successful chases of big totals, but Nepal’s cause was not helped by the loss of early wickets, Alzarri Joseph removing Kushal Bhurtel for five in the second over.
Bhim Sharki, who batted brilliantly against the USA, followed for five at the hands of Holder (3/34) to leave Nepal 23 for two and in trouble.
They tried to rebuild through Aasif Sheikh (28) and skipper Rohit Paudel (30) but wickets came at regular intervals to prevent any real momentum building.
Aarif Sheikh (63) provided the most resistance, but needed 93 deliveries for his knock as he watched partner after partner depart. The pick of the partnerships came with Gulsan Jha (42), the duo adding 68 for the seventh wicket.
Aarif Sheikh was the penultimate man to go, with four overs remaining, and while the last pair managed to take it to the final over, Karan KC’s entertaining 28 off 27 deliveries was brought to an end with two balls still remaining as the Windies wrapped up a second win in as many games.
Scores in brief
Netherlands beat USA at Takashinga Cricket Club, Harare by five wickets
USA 211/8 in 50 overs (Shayan Jahangir 71, Jessy Singh 38; Ryan Klein 2/31, Bas de Leede 2/37)
Netherlands 214/5 in 43.2 overs (Scott Edwards 67*, Teja Nidamanuru 58; Jessy Singh 2/35, Ali Khan 1/16)
West Indies beat Nepal at Harare Sports Club, Harare by 101 runs
West Indies 339/7 50 overs (Shai Hope 132, Nicholas Pooran 115; Lalit Rajbanshi 3/52, Dipendra Singh Airee 1/45)
Nepal 238 all out in 49.4 overs (Aarif Sheikh 63, Gulsan Jha 42; Jason Holder 3/34, Alzarri Joseph 2/45)