KATHMANDU: Nepal's rookie batsman Dipendra Singh Airee smashed flamboyant unbeaten 47 runs to propel his team to four-wickets victory over the United Arab Emirates and levelled three-match T20 International series to 1-1 at the ICC Academy in Dubai today.
After losing the toss, Nepal skittled the hosts for a meagre 107 runs all out in 19.2 overs. In reply, Nepal rode on Dipendra Singh's brilliant innings to canter four wickets triumph with three balls to spare in a do-or-die tie today.
Nepal's pathetic opening owes continues as they were pegged back to 2/9 inside two overs. In-form batsman Paras Khadka was out for a golden duck and his opening partner Pradeep Airee trudged back to pavilion after hitting run a ball eight runs.
Vice-captain Gyanendra Malla failed to contribute with the bat in two games in succession. It's high time that the management injects fresh talents in the team to bolster their batting order.
At one stage, Nepal were reeling at 46/5. However, Airee and Pawan Sarraf combined for a match-winning 55 runs partnership for the sixth wicket before Sarraf perished in the long off region while trying to up-the-ante in the last over.
Sarraf contributed valuable 18 runs with two fours off 25 balls. Nepal still required seven runs off six deliveries to win the game.
After that, it was Airee's show as he hammered a straight six over bowlers head to tie the score before unleashing a square cut to see off the hosts in a crucial encounter today. He blazed away four fours and a six in his 41 balls innings.
Chundangapoyil Rizwan top-scored for the hosts with 44 runs off 43 balls with four fours and a maximum. Nepal's Abinash Bohara was the pick of the bowler with 4-0-20-3.
Strike bowlers Sompal Kami and Karan KC and leggie Sandeep Lamichanne shared six wickets between them.
Although it was not an easy walk in the park for Nepali batsmen as UAE bowlers bowled in tandem to tandem and took wickets in regular interval. Mohammad Naveed, Amir Hayat, Imran Haider and Zahoor Khan took a wicket each. Sultan Ahmed was the pick of UAE's bowlers with two wickets.
Later, Dipendra Singh Airee was awarded man-of-the-match.
Earlier, Nepal had lost to the UAE by 21 runs in the opening match of the T20 International series.
The two teams will lock their horns in a series decider fixture on Sunday.