Zimbabwe A – 213 all out in 32.1 overs (Tadiwanashe Marumani 50, Kudzai Maunze 39, Roy Kaia 36; Kishore Mahato 5/43, Sompal Kami 2/45, Dipendra Singh Airee 1/18)
Nepal – 214-4 in 30.1 overs (Kushal Bhurtel 84, Dipendra Singh Airee 60*, Aasif Sheikh 29; Brandon Mavuta 3/46, Brad Evans 1/38)
Nepal won by six wickets
Tadiwanashe Marumani’s brilliant half-century was in vain after Zimbabwe A lost to Nepal by six wickets in their third and final one-day match at Kirtipur on Monday.
Morning rain delayed the start and the match had to be rescheduled for 33 overs per side.
Zimbabwe A, put in to bat on losing the toss again, knew they had to play virtually in T20 manner if they were to set a target that would challenge the powerful Nepalese hitters.
Fortunately, Marumani rose to the occasion with some magnificent hitting from the very start, and when his partner Innocent Kaia was caught for 12 in the fifth over the score was already 40.
Marumani shared a second-wicket partnership of 49 in six overs with Kudzai Maunze (39), before being caught for 50, scored off 31 balls with two sixes and seven fours.
Johnathan Campbell was caught for three, when the score was 107 for four in the 17th over.
This brought in Cephas Zhuwao, batting at number six this time, but he flickered only briefly, hitting two sixes before being caught for 16 off 18 balls – 143 for five in the 23rd over.
Roy Kaia was still there, and he was now joined by the captain, Tony Munyonga, who played the most dynamic innings of all.
He faced only 12 balls before being caught, but he scored 24 runs with two sixes and two fours.
Shortly afterwards, Roy Kaia was run out after scored 36 off 48 balls, with a six and three fours, making the total 182 for seven wickets.
There was still powerful batting to come, with Brad Evans and Luke Jongwe together.
Evans, however, was soon caught for seven, but Jongwe played some powerful hits with help from Brandon Mavuta.
The innings ended in the final over for 213: Mavuta was lbw for six, while Jongwe was caught for 19, scored off 15 balls.
Nepal made a fine start to their innings, with Kushal Bhurtel and Aasif Sheikh putting on 73 for the first wicket in the first 12 overs.
Sheikh was then caught by Campbell off Mavuta for 29, scored off 37 balls, and at 112 Sunil Dhamala, who never got going, was caught by Marumani, keeping wicket in this match, for six off 14 balls.
The match was in the balance at 130, when with successive deliveries Mavuta had Bhurtel caught by Roy Kaia for 84 and then trapped the new man Rohit Paudel lbw with his next delivery.
Bhurtel had set the innings up for his team’s victory, and his 84 came off only 61 balls and contained four sixes and seven fours.
With even one more wicket, the Zimbabweans might have taken a firm grip on the match, but unfortunately for them Binod Bhandari joined Dipendra Singh Airee and the two of them built the decisive partnership to win the match.
The bowlers could not break through again, and the winning runs were scored with 17 balls in hand.
Singh finished with 60 not out off 43 balls, having hit three sixes and four fours, and Bhandari with 28 off 26 balls, with three fours.
Mavuta took three wickets for 46 runs off six overs, but all the bowlers travelled for more than six runs an over.