Sports

Second defeat in row dents Nepal’s qualification hopes

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Aug 31, 2018-

Nepal’s hope of making it to the ACC Asia Cup dealt a huge blow after  their second successive defeat in the qualifying tournament in Kuala  Lumpur on Thursday.

Nepal lost to fellow One Day International team the United Arab Emirates  (UAE) by 78 runs. The defeat comes a day after Nepal lost to Oman by  seven wickets despite a valiant 83-run effort from Sagar Pun at the  Bayuemas Oval ground.

With only the champions of the six-team qualifying  tournament assured  of a berth in the Asia Cup, Nepal’s chances of rounding up a top two  finish and set up title clash appears extremely bleak. The best they can  do is to win the remaining three matches and hope combination of other  results go in their favour. The champions of the Qualifier will join world cricketing powerhouses India and Pakistan in Group ‘A’ of Asia Cup slated for September 16-28  in the UAE.

At the Kinrara Academy Oval grounds on Thursday, the UAE scored 254-9 in  50 overs and bowled out Nepal for 176 runs in 48.5 overs. Unlike other  matches, the clash between the two teams was the ODI affair. It was  Nepal third ODI after a two-match series against the Netherlands early  in month.

Openers Chiraj Suri and Ashfaq Ahmed gave the UAE a strong start putting  on a 70-run stand for the first wicket before a half century from Adnan  Kufti and a 35-run contribution from Rameez Shahzad helped swell their  total. Suri top scored for the UAE with 65 runs, his 91-ball innings included  seven boundaries and a six. Ahmed scored a quick-fire 45 off 41 balls  which included four boundaries and two sixes.

No 4 batsman Shahzad also chipped in with invaluable 35 off 49 deliveries  before Mufti’s unbeaten knock ensured the UAE post what turned out to be  a match-winning score. Mufti slammed eight boundaries in his 46-ball 57.  

Leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane was the pick of the Nepali bowlers with  an economical figures of 4-24 from 10 overs. Basanta Regmi and Sompal  Kami also claimed two wickets each.

Nepal made worst possible start to their run chase losing vice-captain  Gyanendra Malla (4) in first over. But despite Malla’s opening partner  Subash Khakurel holding firm at the one end wickets continue to tumble  at the other end. Nepal eventually could only manage 176 with skipper  Paras Khadka failing to contribute for the second match in succession. Only Dipendra Singh Airee, who scored 40, and Sompal Kami, who made  remained unbeaten on 30, helped Nepal reduced the margin of defeat.

With wickets falling at the other end, Khakurel played cautiously and  scored just two fours and a six in his painstaking 97-ball 50. Man-of- the-match Ahmed Raza took four, Mohammad Naveed took three and Amir  Hayat bagged two wickets for the UAE.

In other matches of the day, Hong Kong beat Singapore by five wickets  and Oman defeated Malaysia by two wickets. The UAE and Oman have maximum  four points from two games but the former lead the points table on net  run-rate. Hong Kong stay in third and Malaysia fourth with both on two  points each. Nepal and Singapore have yet to open their account.

Nepal play Malaysia on Saturday.

Points Table

Team    M    W    L    NR    Pts    NRR

UAE    2    2    0    0    4    2.96

Oman    2    2    0    0    4    0.15

Hong Kong    2    1    1    0    2    0.37

Malaysia    2    1    1    0    2    0.25

Nepal    2    0    2    0    0    -0.90

Singapore    2    0    2    0    0    -3.09

Summary

UAE 254-9 in 50 overs (C Suri 65, A Mufti 57*; S Lamichhane 4-24, B Regmi 2-49, S Kami 2-58) beat Nepal 176 in 48.5 overs (S Khakurel 50, DS Airee 40; A Raza 4-37, M Naveed

|3-48, A Hayat 2-27) by 78 runs

Man-of-the-match: Ahmed Raza

Published: 31-08-2018 09:09

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