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Lalit Rajbanshi’s maiden five-fer skittles UAE to their lowest ODI score

Lalit Rajbanshi

Nepal bowled out the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for 71 runs, their lowest in One-day Internationals, and registered a mammoth 177-run win.

It was Nepal’s biggest win in terms of runs, surpassing a record of 151 runs against Papua New Guinea on 10 September 2021.

Chasing 249 runs in a must-win match, UAE were bowled out for their lowest-ever score. Thanks to Lalit Rajbanshi, who picked up his maiden ODI five-fer (7.5-2-20-5) as the hosts bowled out UAE in just 22.5 overs.

Nepal’s team management brought Lalit in place of pacer Karan KC, who struggled in the last few matches. A replacement of the pacer by a left-arm spinner was a question, however, the decision proved to be good.

During the chase, Captain Rohit Paudel handed the ball to Lalit to bowl the first over, and he did not disappoint.

Lalit bowled UAE’s opener Vriitya Aravind in the fifth ball of the innings for a duck. UAE were 0/1 at the end of the first over.

In his second over, Muhammad Waseem was caught by Kushal Bhurtel for 1(8b) and finished the over with a back-to-back maiden.

After three quiet overs, he returned at the 17th over and straight-away grabbed his third wicket, dismissing Aaryan Afzal Khan for 29(33 balls). At the other end, Sandeep Lamichhane was also taking wickets.

At the end of 22 overs, UAE had already lost their eighth wicket for 71 runs and Lalit didn’t take long to wrap up, taking both the remaining wickets, first trapping Junaid Siddique in front for 1(3) and the last man Zahoor Khan was caught for a duck 0(3).

Rajbanshi finished with the match figure of 7.5 overs, including two maidens, giving away 20 runs and taking five wickets, beating his previous best of four for 36 against Namibia.

In his short ODI career of 16 matches, Rajbanshi has taken 18 scalps with an average of 18.33 with an economy of 3.67. His 12 wickets have come at home while the remaining six were taken in Namibia.