Nepal lose to UAE by 7 wickets
- ICC World Cricket League Championship
Dec 7, 2017-Nepal lost their first of the seventh and final round matches of the ICC World Cricket League Championship (WCLC) against the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by seven wickets in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.
Nepal recovered from a precarious position through another matured innings from Sharad Vesawkar to put 221-6 from 50 overs after they were put in to bat first. Skipper Rohan Mustafa led the UAE chase smashing a gritty half century before Ghulam Shabbir sealed the chase as the hosts reached 225-3 in 45.5 overs.
The result didn’t affect Nepal’s position in the WCLC standings as they remain at the sixth spot of the table with nine points from 13 games. The 0UAE (eight points) leapfrogged Namibia (six points) to go seventh. Since Nepal and the UAE, along with Namibia, are already out of contention from the top four spot to seal automatic berth in the 2018 World Cup Qualifiers, the last round games are merely formalities.
The bottom four teams from the WCLC will now have to battle it out in the six-national World Cricket League Division 2 to snatch the last two available berths for the 2018 Qualifiers. Nepal and the UAE will meet in the second leg on Friday.
While Nepali batsmen struggled in the batting surface at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, the UAE batsmen scored fluently at their home conditions. Mustafa gave a perfect start to their chase adding 42 runs for the first wicket with Ahmed Ashfaq (19). After Ashfaq was run out in the seventh over, Mustafa continued to play with aggression and together with Shabbir added 81 runs for the second wicket to lay the foundation for victory.
Mustafa made 62 off 71 with seven boundaries and a six before he nicked a catch to wicketkeeper Dilip Nath off Vesawkar. Shabbir played with composure and was involved in a match winning 67-run third wicket stand with Rameez Shahzad who made 37 off 47 with three fours and a six before handing a return catch to leg spinner Sandeep Lamichhane. Shabbir made 81 not out from 116 balls with eight boundaries.
Earlier, the new opening pair of Gyanendra Malla and Dilip Nath managed to keep the UAE bowlers in check making sure they don’t lose wicket inside the first 10 but the duo’s 89-ball vigil fetched Nepal just 43 runs. Nath made 16 runs in his boundaryless 39-ball innings before being bowled by Ahmed Raza.
Malla and Vesawkar then combined for a 41-run partnership as Nepal’s score approached triple figures. The partnership was beginning to pick up pace when Malla was trapped leg before of the UAE skipper Mustafa. Malla made 54 off 83 balls with six hits to the fence. Skipper Paras Khadka joined Vesawkar and the two added 38 runs for the third wicket. Nepal soon suffered a mini collapse losing Khadka, new-man Aarif Sheikh (duck) and Binod Bhandari (four) in the space of 12 runs to be 134-5 in 38.2 overs.
Khadka scored 20 off 36 balls with four boundaries. Vesawkar rebuild the innings putting on 47 runs for the sixth wicket with Sompal Kami, who made 20 from 19 balls with three hits to the fence. After the departure of Kami, Vesawkar led Nepal across triple figures with a 40-run unbroken stand for the seventh wicket with Basanta Regmi.
Regmi scored a 15-ball 14 not out, while Vesawkar notched up his highest individual score in WCLC, remaining unbeaten on 81 off 95 deliveries with five boundaries. He also went on to complete his fourth half century in the tournament. Vesawkar is currently the highest run getter from Nepal in the WCLC with 404 runs 12 games. Khadka is just six runs behind Vesawkar and has just played a game less. While Vesawkar had struck two half centuries against Namibia, the other one had come against Papua New Guinea.
UAE 225-3 in 45.5 overs (G Shabbir 81 not out, R Mustafa 62; S Vesawkar 1-14, S Lamichhane 1-46) beat Nepal 221-6 in 50 overs (S Vesawkar 81 not out, G Malla 54; Z Khan 2-48, A Raza 1-23) by seven wickets
Man-of-the-match: G Shabbir (UAE)
Published: 07-12-2017 10:37