Khadka's sparkling ton in vain as Nepal fall short of 7 runs to UAE
KATHMANDU: Nepal slumped to seven runs defeat at the hands of UAE in the final of ICC World Cricket League Division II played at the Wanderers Cricket Ground in Windhoek, Namibia, on Thursday.
After being runner-up of the tournament, Nepal are now seeded in Group B along with the hosts Zimbabwe, Afghanistan, Scotland and Hong Kong for the ICC World Cup Qualifier tournament to be held in Zimbabwe on March.
UAE are pitted against the likes of West Indies, Ireland, Netherlands and Papua New Guinea in Group A.
Skipper Khadka who blazed to an unbeaten, flamboyant century (112 in 103 balls), with eight towering sixes and three crunching drives, could not take his team over the line despite hammering three consecutive sixes in the last over.
At the end 28 runs off last over was just a touch above despite Khadka being in sparkling form in the tournament.
Out of form batsmen Gyanendra Malla, Sarad Vesawkar, Dipendra Singh Airee scored 24, 30 and 35 runs respectively, failing to convert their runs into big scores.
Karan KC who single handedly defeated Canada with his powerful hitting on Wednesday failed to repeat his 'magic' today.
Amir Hayat was pick of the UAE bowler with 10-0-53-4.
Imran Haider took two Nepali scalps while Rohan Mustafa and Ahmed Raza chipped in with a wicket each.
After winning the toss, UAE elected to bat first and amassed a challenging total of 277/4 runs for Nepal to chase.
Ashfaq Ahmed and Rohan Mustafa gave a solid start, garnering 109 runs opening partnership for the Gulf nation. Rohan Mustafa scored 51 runs before falling prey to Basanta Regmi's delivery, having been caught by Karan KC in 24.1 overs.
Man of the match Ashfaq Ahmed scored a match winning century, making 112 runs in 123 balls, including 10 fours and three sixes.
Rameez Shahzad remained not out on 41 off 46 balls with one four and one six. Shiman Anwar hit brisk 40 off 24 balls with two fours and three sixes.
Sandeep Lamichanne, Basanta Regmi and Sompal Kami chipped in a wicket each.
Earlier, Nepal had defeated UAE by four wickets.
With the conclusion of the tournament, Nepal are also promoted to ICC World Cricket League Division I.