Thursday, April 18

Nepal’s hopes of qualifying for T20 World Cup come to an end

By a Staff Reporter

Muscat – Nepal’s hopes of qualifying for the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup have come to an end with a 68-run defeat to the UAE during the semifinal match of the ICC T20 Global Qualifiers on Tuesday.

The UAE defeated Nepal to secure a place in the T20 World Cup to be held in October/November in Australia later this year. This is the second time the UAE have qualified for the T20 World Cup. This is the first time the UAE will be playing in the T20 World Cup after 2014.

Nepal, who were chasing a target of 176 runs for victory, were all out in 18.4 overs with just 107 runs on board. Nepal’s Dipendra Singh Airee top-scored 38 run-a-ball including three boundaries. No other batsman performed well during the match. UAE spinners Ahmad Raja and fast bowler Junaid Siddiqui ensured that they qualify for the World Cup at the expense of Nepal.

Nepal’s Aasif Sheikh was out for duck with an LBW from Siddiqui in the fourth ball of the first over. In the next ball, Lokesh Bam was suffered a golden duck as he was caught for an edge by Mohammad Wasim while trying to play a big shot. Nepal was in trouble right from the beginning after losing  two wickets in the first  over. Siddiqui forced Kushal Bhurtel’s catch out in the fifth ball of the third over to pile further pressure on Nepal. Other batsmen were also dismissed cheaply until Airee provided some resistance. The fall of wickets of Gyanendra Malla and Dipendra Singh Airee in successive balls in the 13th over effectively ended Nepal’s hopes of qualifying for the World Cup.

Sandeep Lamichhane was out for 4 runs while Bivek Yadav and Kamal Singh Airee contributed 8 and 4 runs respectively. UAE’s Siddiqui took 3 wickets while Captain Ahmad Raja bagged 5 wickets.

Earlier, opting to bat first at the Oman Cricket Academy Ground-1 after winning the toss, the UAE scored 175 runs in the allotted 20 overs losing 7 wickets. UAE’s opener Mohammad Wasim topscored 70 runs off 48 balls. His innings included 4 boundaries and four sixes.

Avinash Bohara and Jitendra Mukhiya took 3 wickets each for Nepal while Skipper Sandeep Lamichhane bagged one.

The UAE had scored 84 runs in the first 10 overs losing  2 wickets while they added 91 more runs in the last 10 overs losing 5 more wickets.

Nepal had reached the semifinal winning all three matches in group stage. Nepal will next face the hosts Oman for the third-place play off. The final will be held on Thursday.

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