By a Staff Reporter
Kathmandu (HamroKhelkud) – Nepal have set up a target of 163 runs for the UAE in the final of the Triangular Series at the TU Cricket Ground in Kathmandu. Nepal finished on 162-8 in the allotted 20 overs to set up a competitive target for the UAE.
Losing the toss and being sent into bat, Nepali opener Kushal Bhurtel smashed a quick-fire half-century. He scored 50 runs off just 29 deliveries, adorned with six boundaries and three sixes. However, the rest of the top-order batters struggled to find their rhythm. Bhurtel’s opening partner, Aasif Sheikh, fell early, dismissed by the returning Aayan Khan after contributing only seven runs from 12 deliveries.
Batting at number three, Kushal Balla managed to add a mere solitary run to the team’s total before falling victim to Aayan. Skipper Rohit Paudel could only muster 18 runs from 17 deliveries, hitting one boundary along the way. Dipendra Singh Airee showed some promise, scoring 20 runs off 15 balls, featuring one four and a six. Sundeep Jora was the next to get dismissed, making 10 runs off 10. Sompal Kami contributed 13 runs off eight deliveries, smashing two boundaries in the process. Gulshan Jha chipped in with five runs before departing.
Despite the setbacks in the middle overs, Karan KC’s explosive finish provided a glimmer of hope in otherwise challenging innings. But five dots in the final over didn’t help. Karan remained unbeaten on 23 off 17 deliveries with two fours and a six. Abinash Bohora remained unbeaten on no runs at the other end.
Aayan Khan took three wickets for the UAE with Ali Naseer and Zahoor Khan racking up a couple each. Junaid Siddique managed to get one.
Nepal qualified for the final with four victories in as many matches in the round-robin stage. UAE qualified for the final on one win and one loss, finishing ahead of Hong Kong on net run rate.