The Nepalese national cricket team has been defeated by UAE in the first warm-up match of the World Cup Qualifier 2023. UAE emerged victorious by three wickets in a thrilling clash after completing the target of 277 runs set by Nepal in 49.5 overs, losing three wickets.
Rohan Mustafa turned out to be the main villain for Nepal, scoring well-composed 79* runs. Mustafa smacked nine fours and one sixes in a 56-ball knock. He was well supported by Ali Nasser, who contributed 27 runs in a 75-run stand to take their side home.
Opener Aryansh Sharma scored 50 runs, while Rameez Shahzad and Asif Khan assisted 43 and 36 runs respectively, for UAE to make a chase possible.
Lalit Rajbanshi (10-0-49-2) and Karan Kc (7.5-2-46-2) picked up two wickets each for Nepal. Gulshan Jha, Kushal Malla and Sompal Kami pocketed one wicket each.
Earlier, Nepal managed 276 runs on the board before being bowled out in 49.5 overs after choosing to bat first.
Nepal had a decent start with openers adding 87 runs for the first wicket before Kushal Bhurtel walked back for 39. His partner Aasif Sheikh top-scored with 76 runs from 104 balls.
Kushal Malla scored an exciting 46 runs in the middle overs, with Aarif Sheikh supporting him well with 35 runs. Malla smacked four sixes in his 30-ball knock. Sompal Kami assisted crucial 16 runs at the tail.
Nepal will play a second warm-up match against Oman on June 15 before the main event.
The World Cup Qualifier is scheduled to take place between June 18th and July 9th. The top three teams from both groups will advance to the Super Six stage. In the Super Six, those teams will face each other, and the two teams with the highest rankings will proceed to the final. Both finalists will secure their spots in the Cricket World Cup 2023.
Nepal will start the campaign facing the host Zimbabwe on June 18. Monty Desai’s boy faced defeat in both practice matches in South Africa before coming to Zimbabwe.