Put into bat first, Nepal were indebted to allrounder Pun to post 221-9 in 50 overs but Oman completed the chase for the loss of three wickets in 48 overs. Only the champions of the six-team qualifying tournament earn a ticket to the Asia Cup proper where world cricketing powerhouses India and Pakistan await them in Group ‘A’. The Asia Cup is scheduled for September 16-28 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
At the Bayuemas Oval ground, Nepali openers Gyanendra Malla and Subash Khakurel (4) made a composed start putting on 31 runs for the first wicket with the former scoring a bulk of the runs. After an unfortunate mix-up saw Khakurel run out in the 9th over, Nepal fell further to 58-3 as skipper Khadka (8) and Malla both fell in the space of two runs. Malla struck six boundaries and a six in his 60-ball 45.
Dipendra Singh Airee, who was in good nick scoring huge runs including a century during their friendly matches in Sri Lanka, also fell for nine. However, Pun held firm at the one end to ensure Nepal post a competitive total on the board. He remained on the pitch until the last over.
Pun revived the Nepali innings putting on 92 runs for the fifth wicket with Aarif Sheikh, who scored a patient 74-ball 36. Pun was run out for 83 in 49.4 overs. The allrounder struck six fours and two sixes in his 84-ball knock. Karan KC also chipped in with an entertaining 10-ball 26 with two sixes and a four.
Bilal Khan, Mohammad Nadeem and Ajay Lalcheta took two wickets each for Oman. Three Nepali players were run out.
Like Nepal, Oman also made a composed start to their chase and the match appeared to the finely balanced at 71-2 by the 21 overs. But Khawar Ali together with Vaibhav Wategaonkar and Zeeshan Maqsood completed a remarkable chase.
Man-of-the-match Ali first put on 76-run third wicket stand with Wategaonkar and another unbroken 75-run partnership with Maqsood win it for Oman. Ali remained unbeaten on 84, his 96-ball knock included six boundaries and four sixes. Maqsood struck three sixes and as many fours in his 36-ball 45. Skipper Khadka took one wicket for Nepal as the two other Omani batsmen were dismissed courtesy run outs.
Published: 2018-08-30 08:32:55
In other matches, Malaysia beat Hong Kong by three wickets and UAE hammered Singapore by 215 runs. Nepal now play UAE on Thursday.
Oman 224-3 in 48 overs (84*, 45*; P Khadka 1-24) beat Nepal 221-9 in 50 overs (S Pun 83, G Malla 45; A Lalcheta 2-34, B Khan 2-54) by seven wickets
Man-of-the-match: K Ali