Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - Scholtz spins Namibia to win over Nepal amidst catch controversy. Catch controversy sparks calls for DRS in League 2
Catch controversy sparks calls for DRS in League 2
A controversial boundary catch early in the second innings, which saw Nepal opener Dev Khanal dismissed after a rolling catch on the square-leg rope by Ben Shikongo had originally been signalled a six. It marred an otherwise entertaining League 2 fixture in Cambusdoon and prompted calls from both captains for the introduction of camera-assisted third umpires in the ICC's second-tier ODI competition. Left-arm spinner Bernard Scholtz's memorable maiden ODI five-wicket haul delivered Namibia another comfortable victory in their final match in the ongoing trilateral series. In his 9.5 overs, he conceded just 22 runs as Nepal struggled in vain toward a modest 200-run target, but the match may be chiefly remembered for the controversial second wicket in Nepal's chase.
“It's a big problem in Associates cricket, I don't know what the ICC members might think about it, but when it comes to close games…it may not have made a difference now, Namibia won by a big margin, but we are fighting for those two points, fighting for a place at the World Cup, and those small errors game make a huge difference in the game,” said Nepal's skipper Sandeep Lamichhane. “It's somewhere maybe we see the need for some form of DRS or a third umpire system… such small margins, these things can make a big difference in the game.” he added.
The Nepal skipper himself returned 4-29 from 10 instrumental overs to keep the Namibians under 200, but on a slow and unforgiving wicket, Nepal were unable to get on top of the chase, Jan Frylinck struck twice early before Scholtz strangled the innings through the middle and then mopped up the tail to seal a 63-run victory.
Namibia captain Gerhard Erasmus had batted doggedly for a 70-ball 53 to hold his side together after three wickets fell in the powerplay to reduce them to 36-3, but Lamichhane deprived him of support, taking three wickets before claiming his opposite number's scalp. Erasmus was smartly stumped on the last ball of the 27th as a sharp-spinning legbreak turned past the bat as Aasif Sheikh took the bails off to reduce Namibia to 112-6.
JJ Smit's counterattack ended when he holed out looking to take Basir Ahmad inside-out over extra for a third consecutive boundary, and David Wiese's when a straight drive from Ruben Trumpelmann off Aadil Alam took a deflection off Alam's heel into the stumps with Wiese a half yard out of the crease. Wiese's misfortune meant no late surge would come, and DS Airee's excellent spell at the death to claim two wickets for just 9 runs, meant Namibia were all out for 199.
Nepal's reply started poorly, as Kushal Bhurtel flicked a leg stump half volley from Frylinck to short leg in the first over. But it was the next wicket that soured the game as Khanal was caught on the deep square boundary by Shikongo who came within a whisker of rolling over the rope, close enough that the spectators cheered for a boundary. Umpire Alan Haggo initially agreed and signalled a six before thinking twice, consulting his colleague at square leg and eventually sending Khanal on his way to the fury of the partisan crowd.
Given the eventual margin, the controversy was likely moot, as Scholtz struck in his first over with Aarif Sheikh popping a leading edge to extra cover, and then choking the life out of the chase as despite the modest target the scoreboard pressure would start to tell. Alam lofted Scholtz to Erasmus on the long on rope in the 32nd leaving Nepal on 118 with four wickets remaining. The lower order wilted rapidly, with Lamichhane being the last man out pushing a return catch to Scholtz with his side still 64 runs short.
Speaking after the match, skipper Erasmus too pointed to the lack of a third umpire review as the significant issue exposed by the controversy.
“I share the sentiments of Sandeep Lamichhane, the catch is only contentious because there is no review system, no cameras or third umpires to check it, so you're left in a situation where the word of an outsider is against the fielder and the process in this cricket is the fielder makes a call, in these boundary situations, and the fielder felt he never felt the rope behind him only his hat fell on the rope… and unfortunately in these games, we have to go the fielder's word. I don't think there was any question of fairness or ethics on the part of Ben… it's a bit of a sorry situation to have to explain a catch on the boundary, one which could be avoided … but I think one moment shouldn't spoil a game and I'm happy that it didn't.”