Kathmandu/Cricnepal: Nepal registered a 21 runs victory over Malaysia as they entered the consecutive final of the ACC Trophy Elite in U.A.E. on Wednesday.
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At Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Duhabi, Malaysia won the toss and invited Nepal to bat first. Despite a disastrous start from the openers, a solid partnership between Khadka and Gyanendra Malla took Nepal to a formidable score of 241/9 in 45 overs. The match was reduced to 45 overs a side after a dense fog in the morning delayed the start of the innings.
Nepal lost openers Subash Khakurel and Anil Mandal cheaply for 3 and 8 runs respectively. Khadka and Malla then put up a partnership of 112 runs for third wicket and lifted the team’s score to 133/3 before Malla was run out. Malla scored 34 runs off 60 balls with 2 fours. Khadka made a 96 ball-89 and hit 10 fours and a six before was caught in 33rd over. Khadka is the leading scorer of the tournament with 260 runs from 4 matches.
Pradeep Airee added 11 runs while Prithu Baskota quick fired 34 runs off 21 deliveries with 3 fours and 2 sixes. Baskota was caught while Airee was run out. Sharad Vesawkar shared a partnership of 46 runs with Baskota for sixth wicket. Vesawkar scored 37 runs off 44 balls with 2 fours before being trapperd leg before wicket. Shakti Gauchan(1) and Basanta Regmi(5) then were dismissed cheaply. Nepal lost nine wickets at the end of the first inning.
Nazril Rahman picked four wickets while Khizar Hayat, Faruq Hakimin and Anwar Rahman claimed wicket apiece for Malaysia.
In reply, Nepal had a good start, as Malaysia lost opener Anwar Arudin for 8 runs in the very 3rd over. Faizal Abu Hasan and Ahmed Faiz created some good innings and holded Malaysia to 71. But, they lost Hasan and Faiz for 33 and 29 runs respectively leaving Malaysia to 79/3. 46 runs partnership between Kizar Hayat and Durrani, 45 runs partnership between Suhan Kumar and Shafiq Sharif looked quite dangerous for Nepal but Nepal didn’t allow the Malaysian side to continue their attacks.
Hayat 23, Kumar 43, Sharif 42 and Suharril Fetri 17 were the other major contributors for Malaysia.
Prithu Baskota remained the pick of the bowler with three wickets while Shakti Gauchan finished with 2 for 30. Amrit Bhattarai, Paras Khadka, Basanta Regmi and Bhuwan Karki shared a wicket each for Nepal.
Paras Khadka was adjudged the man of the match. Meanwhile, Amrit Bhattarai had a serious injury in the seventh over as Airee completed the three balls. Bhattarai was earlier advised to rest but played as the team had no pacers after Binod too was injured.
Nepali captain Khadka was adjudged man-of-the-match for his brilliant knock.
After the match, Pubudu Dassanayake, team coach of Nepal said “The boys have been playing a good cricket. Whatever we saw today was the result of their good preparation and their dedication. They have been doing well. With this result, we can certainly hope high from this team.” However we are having the problem with the fast bowlers role in the team as both of our fast bowlers Amirt Bhattarai and Binod Das are injured, we will look after it and see if they get ready for the final on Friday, he added.
Nepal had reached the finals of the ACC Trophy Elite thrice. However, they are yet to lift the title. The final is against U.A.E. on Friday.