Nepal complete ODI-Twenty20 doubleNepal emulated the preceding One-Day International (ODI) Series triumph by claiming a maiden Twenty20 International Series after defeating United Arab Emirates (UAE) by 14 runs in the third match here at the ICC Academy Oval on Sunday.
Nepal emulated the preceding One-Day International (ODI) Series triumph by claiming a maiden Twenty20 International Series after defeating United Arab Emirates (UAE) by 14 runs in the third match here at the ICC Academy Oval on Sunday.
In the third and deciding fixture that was reduced to 10-over-a-side due to rain, Nepal rode on some good hittings from skipper Paras Khadka, Sandeep Jora and Binod Bhandari to reach 104-8 in 10 overs. The UAE had a clear upper hand in the game for the first five overs before Nepali bowlers hit back to restrict the hosts to 90-8 in 10.
Nepal reciprocated their ODI success in which they had lost the first match and bounced back to win the next two. They lost the first Twenty20 match by 21 runs but came back stronger again to win the next two games. Nepal skipper Paras Khadka lauded the team effort and was unable to hide his emotions.
“It feels great. We played fantastic cricket as a team in the last couple of weeks. The players put in a grand performance and everyone stood up today. The fielding today was unbelievable. I am happy the way boys are shaping up and we would like to keep continuing this consistency in coming days,” said Khadka.
The UAE were cruising along at one stage when they had already put 72-3 with in-form Shaiman Anwar smashing Nepali bowlers all around the park. Gyanendra Malla’s superb effort in the field then brought back Nepal in the game after he dived forward to dismiss Anwar off Karan KC, who conceded just three runs in the eighth over picking up two wickets.
Malla was once again at his best keeping his cool to get rid of explosive Mohammad Boota (11) in the next over from Abinash Bohora, who gave away just nine runs. Malla stood up again in the last over from Lalit Narayan Rajbanshi when the UAE needed 20 runs. Malla produced a stunning one-handed diving catch to dismiss CP Rizwan (2) and Khadka took another running-behind catch of Amir Hayat (duck) as the match was well within Nepal’s grasp.
Nepal’s batting consultant Umesh Patwal was all praise of Malla. “Karan won the man-of-the-match today but it was Gyanendra who won the game for us,” said Patwal adding the victory in the final game was a perfect execution of pre-tournament planning. “The boys have a lot of belief in what they had worked during our camp. They have clear idea about what they have to do under any situation. We knew whatever happens in the last over, Lalit (Rajbanshi) was going to bowl and we stuck to that plan,” added Patwal.
Anwar top scored for the UAE with a 20-ball 30 with two sixes and as many boundaries. Opener Ghulam Shabber made a 15-ball 25 hitting three fours and a six. KC (2-13), Bohora, (2-16) and Rajbanshi (2-16) shared six wickets between them.
Earlier, Nepal recovered well with the bat after the UAE skipper Mohammad Naveed bowled a maiden in the first over picking up a wicket. From 21-3, Khadka provided the lift adding 29 runs from 14 balls with Jora. Nepal lost Khadka after the captain made 14-ball 29 with four boundaries and a six but that dismissal hardly mattered as Jora and Bhandari (21) combined to notch-up 37-run partnership.
Jora scored 28 off 11 with three sixes. Bhandari’s 13-ball innings included two fours and a six. Naveed and Hayat took two wickets each for UAE. Nepal’s Bohora was adjudged the player-of-the-series for taking six wickets and bowling with a decent economy rate of 7.2.
Khadka now wants his boys to get one better. “We have managed to maintain standard coming at this stage (as a new ODI nation). But there is a long way to go and I hope we can perform like this,” said Khadka. “We are returning home as a confident unit. With the World Twenty20 Qualifiers coming, this year is going to be important for us. We have to plan and keep pushing ourselves even further.”
Nepal 104-8 in 10 overs (P Khadka 29, S Jora 28, B Bhandari 21; M Naveed 2-6, A Hayat 2-16) beat UAE 90-8 in 10 overs (S Anwar 30, G Shabber 25; Karan KC 2-13, A Bohara 2-16, L Rajbanshi 2-16) by 14 runs
Man-of-the-match: Karan KC (NEP)
Player-of-the-series: A Bohara (NEP)