Second defeat in row dents Nepal’s qualification hopesNepal’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’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.
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
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