Nepal tour of UAE: Nepal lose by 3-wicket in first ODI

KATHMANDU: Nepal suffered three-wicket defeat to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in first of three One Day International (ODI) fixtures in Dubai on Friday.

The hosts chased down Nepal's paltry score of 116 runs with three wickets in hand and 107 balls to spare in the opening fixture. Man-of-the-match Amir Hayat took three scalps and scored valuable unbeaten 24 runs to thrash the visitors.

After winning the toss, UAE skipper Mohammad Naveed invited Paras Khadka to take the first strike.

Nepal looking to resurrect their opening batting misery, tried the new opening combination with ODI debutant Binod Bhandari and veteran Gyanendra Malla, but to no avail. Malla fell for nought in the first over and Bhandari followed him after mustering five runs in 14 balls.

Nepal's poor batting form continued as they were skittled out for a meagre 113 runs all out inside 33.5 overs in their allotted 50 overs.

Pace spearhead Sompal Kami promoted to number four in the batting order made fluent 30 runs off 47 balls with three fours. Aarif Sheikh and skipper Khadka made 25 and 20 runs before Sandeep Lamichhane contributed 15 runs down the order.

UAE's skipper Mohammad Naveed and Amir Hayat shared six wickets between them. Imran Haider took two wickets and Qadeer Ahmed chipped in with a wicket.

In reply, UAE were made to work hard for every single run in a low scoring thriller today. Spearhead Sompal Kami took an early wicket in the first over to jolt the hosts run chase. At one stage, UAE were reeling at 35/3 in ninth over.

Ghulam Shabber anchored the hosts chase with a valuable 30 runs. However, Nepal took wickets in regular interval and the match was evenly balanced at 73/7 in 20 overs.

Nepal just three wickets away from securing a victory were denied as Amit Hayat and Imran Haider combined for the eight-wicket unbeaten 43 runs partnership to snatch victory from Nepal's clutches.

Karan KC, Sandeep Lamichanne and Pars Khadka chipped in with two wickets each.

Nepal's Pawan Sarraf and Lalit Narayan Rajbanshi made ODI for Nepal against UAE today. Nepal will play three ODIs and three T20 Internationals against the hosts.

The second ODI is scheduled tomorrow.