Nepal’s spinners bowled them to a convincing 41-run victory over MCC in their first appearance at the Home of Cricket, despite a century from George Adair.
Playing on the same pitch where leg-spinner Yasir Khan had inspired Pakistan to victory over England this weekend, Nepal successfully defended 217 on a baking hot day at Lord’s.
Left-arm-spinner Sagar Pun was the standout performer, picking-up 3/35 in a wonderfully controlled spell of bowling which ripped the heart out of the MCC middle order.
Opener Adair batted brilliantly in the chase and kept his side in the hunt for a victory, but MCC were always behind the rate in their efforts as Nepal’s four-pronged spin attack enjoyed themselves on a worn pitch.
Nepal’s batsmen had set a competitive total earlier in the day, with captain Paras Khadka, who represented MCC at the Emirates Airline T20 competition in 2015, making 30, and opener Gyanendra Malla top scoring with 39.
Fast bowler Chad Barrett took 2/35 from his spell of 10 overs, while captain and off-spinner Keith Dutch gave an indication of how difficult batting against spin was to later prove for MCC, collecting figures of 2/36.
And despite reaching 35 without loss in a steady start against the Nepal seamers, MCC were always behind the rate in their response, as the visitors kept scoring on a tight leash throughout the chase.
Adair reached a thoroughly deserved ton late on, and formed a partnership with Richard Wilkinson (20) that briefly threatened to turn the match on its head.
But he was forced to be content with a century in a losing cause, falling caught behind for an even 100 as Nepal tightened their grip in the dying overs.
The match was played in front of a ferverent crowd of more than 3,000, the vast majority of whom were supporting the away team, and formed part of the celebrations of 200 years of relations between Nepal and the UK.