Malaysia – Nepal lost their second match of the ongoing ACC Asia Cup Qualifiers tournament against the United Arab Emirates by 78 runs at the Kinrara Academy Oval ground on Thursday.
UAE posted a competitive 254 runs despite the loss of nine wickets in 50 overs after the opposition Captain asked to bat at the toss. The openers, Ashfaq Ahmed and Chirag Suri put 70 runs partnership, that set the tone for UAE in the first innings of the first one-day international match of the tournament.
Chirag Suri was the highest run-getter for UAE as he scored 65 runs from 91 deliveries with 7 fours and a six. UAE toiled hard at the late-overs after his dismissal, leaving UAE tottering at 6 for 184 but Adnan Mufti quick fire 57 off 46 deliveries with the tail brought 250 up for them. Nepali bowlers missed the trick of wrapping up their opponent when they were 8 down for 212 in 45th over.
Sompal Kami and Karan KC, both pacers were on the expensive side today although Kami grabbed two wickets. But it was the spinners from both ends that restricted UAE. Sandeep Lamichhane, in particular, took the most scalp for Nepal as he finished the spell with four wickets with two maidens, giving away 24 runs in his ten overs. Basant Regmi, on the other hands, took two wickets from his ten overs.
Challenging 255 runs, Nepal struggled from the start as Gyanendra Malla’s wobble-batting continues as an opener. He got dismissed for four runs. Skipper Paras Khadka’s struggle with spin continues, in this tournament. He threw his wicket away coming down the pitch. He got stumped for 16 runs off Ahmed Raza. Debutant, In-form batsman, Sagar Pun looked good after playing 20 deliveries but could not capitalise that moment and became the second victim of Ahmed Raza for 3 runs.
Opener Subash Khakurel made his maiden one-day fifty with two boundaries and a six. Khakurel and Dipendra Singh Airee made a fifty run partnership for the fourth-wicket and brought a hundred run for Nepal in 30th over. Airee was caught after making a good 40 runs. Once, that partnership was broken, Ahmed Raza chipped in with two wickets in two balls to put Nepal on backfoot.
However, a brisk inning of 27 runs from Sompal Kami, towards the end of Nepal’s innings, made the score closer towards the target, but that didn’t help as they were bowled out for 176 runs in 48.5 overs.
Ahmed Raza was the striker for UAE as he grabbed four wickets while Mohammed Naveed and Amir Hayat bagged three and two wickets respectively.
UAE won the match by 78 runs and brought their second win of the tournament. Meanwhile, Nepal will be kicking themselves after two losses within two days.