International, National

Mehboob drives Nepal home

Nepal managed to win Saudi Arabia by 95 runs on its last encounter in a most win match after putting a mammoth 183 runs at TU Ground today.

Saudi Arabia invited Nepal to bat first today in the morning. Mehboob Alam scored 88 off 41 balls, 5 fours and 6 sixes. Change in batting order in today’s game seemed to be an advantage. Subash Khakurel, Opener Batsman didn’t last long, as he was caught by Mohammad Naseem off Khawar Sohail for 8 runs.

At No. 3 Mehboob Alam came to the crease, he and Anil solidated the inning. They put on 98 runs partnership for 3rd Wicket that set the tone of the Nepal’s inning.

Anil was slow today but he did stay with Alam who smashed the ball all over the park. Crowd were delighted to see Alam hitting 6 Huge sixes and 5 fours. Once, Anil was run out by Kashif Meher on 35 runs off 44 balls (5 fours), Skipper Paras Khadka then, came at the crease. Before he was stumpped off Khawar, he had smashed 19 runs off 7 balls with 2 fours and 1 six. Nepal was 149 at 16.4 overs at the time.

Crowd was expecting a fine century from Mehboob Alam but he was too stummped on 88 runs. Pradeep Airee and Gyanendra Mall solidated the inning and took the score to 170. Before Pradeep was caught by Rizwan Qayyum, he made a brisk 10 run from 5 balls with first ball six.

Gyanendra Malla(16) remained unbeaten from 8 balls and took Nepal’s score to 183/5 at the end of 20 over. Khawar Sohail was only the wicket taker for Saudi Arabia. He took all the 4 wickets for 27 runs.

Meanwhile, Saudi Openers – Hammad Saeed 18 runs(10 balls) & Kashif Meher 12 runs(13 balls) tried to give the team a solid start. Saeed was first to depart off Mehboob Alam’s bowling on 1.5 overs and Sanjam Regmi took Kashif’s wicket.

Once, they were dismissed it was all Nepal. At the end of fifth over, they were 39/2. Similary, at the end of tenth over, Saudi Arabia had lost their half of side. Mohammad Naseem tried to fight back with run a ball 21 runs with 1 four and a six but that was not enough. Wickets were falling at the other end. And finally, they were bundled out for 88 runs at 19.1 overs.

Spinner Sanjam Regmi and Skipper Paras took 3 wickets each while, Alam, Basanta and Rahul took 1-1 wicket. Mehboob Alam was adjudged Man of the Match for his solid inning of 88 runs.

This win kept Nepal’s hope alive for the semis but unfortunately, Hongkong defeated Kuwait with a big margin. But still, Nepal will be praying a loss for UAE.

Meanwhile, Afghanistan and Hongkong has been selected for the Semi Final spot.