International, National

Mandal and Gauchan guide Nepal to win in opener

Anil Mandal’s 63 off 129 and Shakti Gauchan’s five wickets for 32 runs carved a four wickets victory for Nepal over the host Uited Arab Emirates in the ACC Trophy Elite in Sharjah on Wednesday.

The win is the Nepal’s ever win against UAE in a 50 overs game. UAE had defeated Nepal in all of the previous six meetings in the ACC Trophy.

Nepali bowlers made an extra performance as UAE was restricted to a total of 133 runs in 40.5 overs after UAE won the toss and opted to bat first.

Amrit Bhattarai got the first breakthrough for Nepal in fifth over as Abdul Shakoor was bowled for 15 runs. Skipper Paras Khadka got the second wicket for Nepal as Saqib Ali got caught in 12th over. Basanta Regmi then claimed a wicket in his very first over and sent back Haroon Iftikhar to pavillion for 18 runs in 16th over.

Basant Regmi trapped the danger man Shaiman Anwar, for leg before wicket, in the 18th over for 9 runs. UAE was at 49 for 3 at the stage.

Rohan Mustafa and Khurram Khan then held the innings for UAE and shared a partnership of 32 runs. But at 81 for 4, Shakti Gauchan destroyed the innings of UAE as he sent the UAE skipper Khurram Khan for 20 runs and Rohan Mustafa for 12 runs.

Gauchan then added a third wicket in his account in 33rd over. Mohammad Azam was caught for 33 runs and the 37 runs partnership came to an end.

UAe lost its eighth wicket in 36th over after Basanta Regmi got his third wicket. Shakti Gauchan then made Silva and Guruge out for 1 and null in 39th and 41st over respectively and UAE”s inning was over.

Shakti Gauchan finished with 5 for 32, Basanta Regmi finished with 3 for 13 while Amrit Bhattarai and Paras Khadka grabbed a wicket each for Nepal.

Mohammad Azam top scored for UAE with 33 runs off 25 balls that included three fours and two sixes.

In reply, Nepal chased the target in 45.2 overs losing six wickets.

Nepal’s opening was quite disastrous today as well as Subash Khakurel was run out in the second ball of the seond over. Gyanendra Malla was the next victim who went out for 4 runs leaving Nepal to 3/2 in 2.5 overs.

Iterestingly five overs from fourth to eighth went for a maiden in a row and Paras Khadka was caught during the seventh over for just 4 runs.

From 11/3, Nepal played a responsible game afterwards. Sharad Vesawkar was caught for 16 runs in 25th over. Pradeep Airee’s two Sixes provided strength for Nepali batsman and the score reached 94 for 5 in 33.3 overs and unfortunately Nepal lost the wicket of Airee . Airee had 17 runs off 24 balls. Airee shared a partnership of 46 runs with Anil Mandal for fith wicket.

Anil Mandal later scored 63 runs off 129 balls with five boundaries before being caught by Mohammad Azam.

Shakti Gauchan and Prithu Baskota then recorded the victory for Nepal in second ball of 46th over with 22 runs partnership. Baskota scored 15 runs off 24 balls with two fours while Gauchan remained not out at 8 runs.

Anil Mandal was adjudged the man of the match.

Nepal will play its next match on Saturday against Kuwait.

In brief: Nepal 134 for 6 (Mandal 63, Airee 17, Vesawkar 16, Baskota 15 n.o., Guruge 3-25, A. Ali 2-16) beat UAE 133 (Azam 33, Khan 20, Iftikhar 18, Shakoor 15, Mustafa 12, A. Ali 12*, Gauchan 5-32, B. Regmi 3-13, Bhattarai 1-12, Khadka 1-24) by 4 wickets.