Allrounder Brad Evans returned figures of four for 27 to set up a three-wicket victory for Zimbabwe A in a low-scoring unofficial One Day International (ODI) against Nepal in Kathmandu on Friday.
Evans’ inspired spell of fast bowling helped bowl out the hosts for 136 runs, a total Zimbabwe A overhauled inside 26 overs after some late drama at the Tribhuvan University International Cricket Ground.
Leg spinner Sandeep Lamichhane and fast bowler Karan KC claimed four wickets between them to rattle the Zimbabwe A and middle-order but Innocent Kaia held on firmly from one end and anchored the chase successfully. He remained unbeaten on a run-a-ball 48 to get the tourists over the line.
Zimbabwe A went into the unofficial ODI series eager to make a statement after being flattering to deceive in the T20 series which ended 1-1.
Zimbabwe skipper Tony Munyonga won the toss and elected to field, a decision which proved to be a masterstroke as his bowlers put on a good show to bowl out the hosts for 136 in 32 overs.
Evans, who has been putting his hand up for selection in the Chevrons squad after a solid domestic campaign claimed for wickets and took two catches to lead the destruction.
He was well supported by trio of Victor Nyauchi, Brandon Mavuta and Cephas Zhuwao, who all claimed two wickets each.
Sompal Kami top-scored for Nepal with a patient 30 from 70 balls while Karan KC chipped in 25, batting at number nine.
In reply, the opening pair of Innocent Kaia and Zhuwao decided to make light work of this run chase right from the start with a 39-run opening stand before the latter was dismissed for a 29-ball 32 in the seventh over.
After being in a position of dominance, Zimbabwe A suffered a dramatic batting collapse soon after and looked down and out at 118 for seven.
Nonetheless, Innocent held on firmly from one end and anchored the chase successfully as Zimbabwe A took a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.