Friday, May 24

Nepal advances to semis undefeated after outplaying Qatar

By a Staff Reporter

Kathmandu – Sandeep Lamichhane’s all-around performance helped Nepal outplay Qatar by 68 runs in a low-scoring match of the ACC Men’s Premier Cup at TU Cricket Ground on Thursday. With this, Nepal remained unbeaten throughout the group stage and advanced as the ground winners.

Invited to bat first, Nepal struggled to score runs until Sandeep Lamichhane, the no. 10 batsman, joined the crease in the 27th over after the fall of Dipendra Singh Airee’s wicket.

Sandeep played a crucial role in boosting Nepal’s score with his unbeaten knock of 42 runs off 58 deliveries, including 6 fours. However, Nepal was eventually bowled out for 157 runs in 40.3 overs.

Skipper Rohit Paudel contributed 27 runs off 36 deliveries, while openers Kushal Bhurtel and Aasif Sheikh left the crease for 2 and 19 runs, respectively.

Kushal Malla, who had performed brilliantly against Oman and Malaysia, departed for just 3 runs. Sompal Kami and Aarif Sheikh added 11 runs each, while Dipendra Singh Airee, Gulsan Jha, and Lalit Rajbanshi got dismissed for 12, 7, and 1 runs, respectively.

Oman’s Amir Farooq took 4 wickets for Qatar, with Owais Ahmed claiming 3, and Gayan Munaweera and Ikramullah Khan taking 2 and 1 wickets, respectively.

In reply, Nepal’s bowlers were excellent, and they managed to restrict Qatar to just 89 runs in 25.1 overs, with Sandeep Lamichhane picking up a five-wicket haul in just 9.1 overs, conceding only 14 runs with three maidens.

In addition, Sompal Kami grabbed 3 wickets, while Lalit Rajbanshi picked up 2 wickets.

For Qatar, Zaheer Ibrahim and Khurram Shahzad jointly top-scored with both contributing 15 runs each, with Amir Farooq adding 14 runs. The other contributors were Kamran Khan (8), Imal Liyanage (6), Muhammad Tanveer (0), Ikramullah Khan (5), Mohammed Rizlan (4), Valeed Veetil (3), Gayan Munaweera (4), and Owais Ahmed (5).

With this victory, Nepal finished as Group ‘A’ winners and will face Group ‘B’ runners-up Kuwait in the semi-final, while Group ‘A’ runners-up Oman will take on Group ‘B’ leaders United Arab Emirates in the other semi-final.

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