Saturday, May 18

UAE Defeat Nepal In A Nail-Biter To Grab Tri-Series Title

By a Staff Reporter

Kathmandu (HamroKhelkud) – A penultimate delivery victory over Nepal has handed UAE the Tri-Series victory in Kathmandu. UAE defeated Nepal by four wickets in the final, getting to the 163-run target in the fifth delivery of the 20th over.

Basil Hameed hit a six in the fifth delivery of the final over when the UAE required two runs off two deliveries. Basil remained unbeaten on 22 off 16 with two sixes in his innings. Aayan Khan remained at the other end on five runs off three balls with a boundary to his name.

Chasing a competitive total of 163 runs, UAE got off to a flier with their skipper Muhammed Waseem leading from the front. Waseem hit seven fours and two sixes to make a quickfire 45 runs off 22 deliveries in the process. His opening partner Aryansh Sharma hit 25 runs off 26 deliveries, hitting two boundaries in the process.

UAE were 71-1 when the first wicket fell in the seventh over. Nepal did well to take the game to the final over but couldn’t get it over the line.

Vritya Aravind was run out on 26 off 25 with brilliant work on the field by Dipendra Singh Airee. Similarly, Asif Khan managed to add seven runs to the total, Alishan Sharafu scored 13 while, Ali Naseer scored 11. Gulshan Jha and Abinash Bohora took two wickets for Nepal while Kushal Malla managed to get one scalp.

Losing the toss and being sent into bat, Nepal set up a target of 163 runs for the UAE. 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.

Karan KC was named the Player of the Series despite the loss in the final. He took 10 wickets in five matches throughout the series, remaining wicketless in the final.

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.

The three teams in the series will now turn their focus towards the ICC T20 World Cup Asia Qualifiers Regional Final from October 30. Nepal are in Group A alongside Malaysia, Oman and Singapore while the UAE and Hong Kong make up Group B alongside Bahrain and Kuwait.

The top two teams in each group will qualify for the semifinals, with the two finalists qualifying for the ICC T20 World Cup in the West Indies and USA next year.

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