UAE thrashed Nepal by 78 runs to keep their winning streak going.
Chasing 255 runs, the Nepal’s innings never got going. Started with Malla’s wicket, Nepal were always behind Arab. Subash Khakurel, Paras Khadka and Dipendra Airee didn’t convert their start. Hence, they lost the battle by 78 runs. To be honest, they didn’t look like winning this match at any moment. Opener and wicket-keeper of the side, Subash Khakurel, took many deliveries to get going and lost his wicket after scoring 50s. He scored 50 runs off 97 balls with 2 fours and a six. Dipendra Airee was running out of partner at conclusive phase. He added 40 runs from 64 balls. Skipper Paras Khadka over-aggressive batting didn’t work today. He was dismissed after hitting two consecutive boundaries. Khadka scored 16 runs, facing 20 deliveries. Sompal Kami added unbeaten 27 runs to minimize the losing margin. In the end, Nepal bundled-out inside 49th over, scoring 176 runs. Raza registered maximum 4 wickets for UAE. Naveed and Hayat picked up 3 and 2 wickets respectively.
Earlier, Paras Khadka called coin’s side right and asked opposition to bat first. Sagar Pun was playing his first ODI match as Nepal’s 15th ODI capped player. Ahmed and Suri came out to open the batting for UAE. Nepal’s pace bowling duo Sompal Kami and Karan KC failed to provide early breakthrough. Karan was bowling inconsistent line in his first spell. UAE added 70 runs before Regmi sent back Ahmed. Ahmed batted aggressively to add 45 runs, taking 41 balls, with 4 fours and 2 sixes. Lamichhane picked up UAE’s skipper, Rohan Mustafa’s (01) wicket in very next over. UAE were losing the track after solid start, but Chirag Suri and Rameez Shahzad had different plan. They shared 66 runs for 3rd wicket to swung pendulum on UAE’s side. Again Regmi worked as partnership breaker as he trapped Shahzad in front of stumps. Shahzad scored 35 runs from 49 balls with 4 fours. Suri’s magnificent innings end on unfortunate manner as Airee’s direct hit found him out of the crease. Suri smashed 65 runs from 91 balls with the help of 7 fours and 1 six. UAE were looking to put up big total on the card but they were dragged back with 6 wickets from Nepal’s bowlers in-between 26th and 45th over, expensing just 75 runs. UAE were 8th down with 212 runs within 45 overs. Thanks to Adnan Mufti (53)* and Ahmed Raza (12), who shared 36 runs for 9th wicket which propelled their innings to 254 runs, losing 9 wickets in 50 overs. Mufti added 53 runs from 46 balls with 8 fours. Lamichhane topped Nepal’s bowling chart with 4 wickets in his name. He expensed 24 runs in his 10 overs of bowling with 2 maiden overs. Regmi did a fine work with 2 crucial wickets, breaking 70 and 66 runs partnership respectively. Sompal Kami also chipped in with 2 wickets.
Nepal chances to advance to the final is very slim now. They need to win all rest of 3 matches and need to maintain good run rate to keep a hope alive. Whereas UAE is looking strong enough to qualify.
Image © Raman Shiwakoti