Nepal 162/6 (Aarif 48, Rijal 27) beat UAE 159/10 (Sujan 4 wickets, Lalit 2 wickets) by 4 wickets with 17 overs to spare.
Nepal defeated the host UAE in the final group match by 4 wickets with 17 overs to spare thanks to some aggressive batting by Aarif Seikh. This is Nepal’s first win in the tournament. Losing to India and Pakistan U19 Teams Nepal is already knocked out of the tournament.
Sheikh who also became the highest scorer of the tournament for Nepal top scored with 46 runs. Aarif faced just 57 balls for his 48 in an innings that included 4 fours and two sixes. Sheikh had scored 40 runs against India in the previous match as well,
Chasing 160 Nepal had a terrible start losing the opener Amit Shrestha with just one run on board. Bhibatsu Thapa coming to bat at number three departed soon scoring just 9 runs leaving Nepal 21-2. Prakash Bista who opened the batting for Nepal in place of Sunil Dhamala then added 28 runs for the third wicket with wicket keeper Raju Rijal. Bista went for 22 off 30 balls.
Aarif then joined Raju and the duo added 41 runs in just 8 overs. With four wickets down Aarif did not allow any more pressure to build and took the attack to the opponent and in doing so added 42 runs with skipper Bhuwan Karki. Karki contributed just 12 off those 42.
Nepal lost Bhuwan and Aarif in span of two runs but those were the last hiccups Nepal would get as Siddhartha Lohani and Rahul Pratab Singh guided the team to victory with 17 overs to spare. Siddhant Lohani made 19 of 12 balls while Rahul made 7.
Earlier winning the toss and batting first UAE were uncomfortable with the bat right from the word go and except a 53 runs stand between DS D’Souza and Zamin Jaleel the UAE batsman seemed to suffocate against the bowlers. Souza top scored for UAE with 32 but played 68 balls for that and Jaleel made 31.
Lalit Bhandari impressed the new ball picking up the first two wickets. When Ram Naresh Giri got rid of the UAE captain Rohit Singh for a duck UAE were 3/43 and struggling.
Shorye Chopra then walked out to the middle and the memory of his previous innings must have given lot of Nepalese players goosebumps.Chopra had rescued UAE from similar condition against Nepal when these two teams met in the ACC Elite Cup Semi Finals. Chopra had then scored a match winning century and denied Nepal a U19 World Cup Berth. Nepalese captain Bhuwan Karki quickly settled the nerves getting rid of Chopra for just 13.
Sujan Bhari then destroyed the lower middle order picking up 4 wickets.
With two losses to India and Pakistan Nepal is already out of the semis of the tournament.