Kathmandu/Cricnepal:Kuwait registered a four wickets victory over Nepal in a very hard fight during Nepal’s second match of the ACC Trophy Elite in UAE on Saturday.
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Paras Khadka scored a brilliant 73 ball century as Nepal posted a challenging total of 280 runs at Al Dhaid Cricket Village after winning the toss. The hundred is Khadka’s maiden. But in reply, Kuwait brought Nepali bowlers under pressure and snatched away the win in 46.2 overs with 22 balls to spare.
Nepal made a slow start with Anil Mandal and Subash Khakurel. Anil Mandal was caught for 19 runs in the last ball of the 19th over while Subash Khakurel was caught by the keeper in 26th over for 45 runs. The duo shared an opening partnership of 61 runs. Mandal hit two fours while Khakurel hit three fours and a six. From 82/2 in 25.5 overs, Gyanendra Malla and Paras Khadka flourished the Nepal’s innings with a partnership of 97 runs.
Gyanendra Malla completed his half century in just 56 balls with six fours but was later caught for 53 runs. Pradeep Airee entering as number 5 batsman hit a four in his 13 balls 11 before being bowled by Sibtain Raza.
Khadka and Prithu Baskota then took the score of Nepal from 202-4 to 280 with an unbeaten partnership of 87 runs. The pair scored 78 runs in last 7 overs.
Khadka remained unbeaten at 106 runs off 77 balls with seven fours and four sixes while Baskota also showed his game and remained not out at 37 runs off 18 balls with four fours and a six.
Saad Khalid, Kashif Sharif, Sibtain Raza and Hisham Mirza claimed a wicket each for Kuwait.
In reply, Nepal had a disastrous start as they had to wait Shakti Gauchan to take the wicket of a in form man Abid Mushtaq in 11th over. By then, the score of Kuwait was 92. Mushtaq scored 54 runs in an impressive way beating all the Nepali bowlers. Mushtaq hit seven fours and three sixes in his 31 balls inning.
Paras Khadka then striked the second wicket in 13th over of the new man Saud Galsukar. Nepal then took an important wicket in the second ball of the 16th over where Irfan Bhatti was run out for 47 runs. Bhatti played 44 balls and hit six fours and two sixes.
A solid 4th wicket partnership of 113 runs between Kashif Shiraf anf Sibtain Raza made Nepal difficult to defend the score. Shiraf was later caught for 59 runs in the ball of Airee. Khadka then took his second wicket in 39th over of Raza who scored 77 off 84 balls with six fours and four sixes, but by then, Kuwait were comfortable for victory. Shakti Gauchan also got his second wicket in 46th over of Mohammad Amim.
Kuwait finished with win in third ball of 47th over with a SIX from Hisham Mirza to Baskota.
Sibtain Raza was adjudged the player of the match.
Every Nepali bowlers were beaten badly by the Kuwait batsman. Nepali bowlers couldn’t continue their good show in the absence of the pacers Amrit Bhattarai and Binod Das. Nepal toiled hard to the defend the score but the Kuwait batsman played a good game and took the match towards their side.
Nepal had defeated Kuwait in all of the 50 overs meetings. Nepal had played five 50 overs game against Kuwaita and won all of them while today’s defeat is the first one. Nepal had defeated Kuwait by 124 runs in the ACC Trophy 2002 held in Singapore, by 6 wickets in the 2006 edition held in Malaysia and by 7 wickets in 2008 edition of the tournament. They also thrashed Kuwait by 8 wickets in 2010 edition. and it was Nepal´s eight-wicket victory in the 2010 edition of held in Kuwait. Nepal had registered a five-wicket victory over Kuwait in 2005 during the ICC World Cup Qualifying Series Division 2.
With today’s defeat Nepal’s unbeaten run of 9 matches has come to an end.
Nepal will take on Saudai Arabia at Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi on Sunday.