Paras shines as Nepal beat UAE to secure maiden ODI series win

KATHMANDU: Nepal's skipper Paras Khadka smashed a scintillating debut One Day International (ODI) ton and propelled his team to a maiden overseas series win over United Arab Emirates (UAE) at the ICC Academy Oval in Dubai today.

Khadka notched 115 runs in just 109 balls to become the first ever Nepali batsman to record ODI ton before being trapped leg before wicket (lbw) by Qadeer Ahmed in 38.5 overs.

Earlier, Nepal's Rohit Kumar Paudel rewrote history as the youngest batsman to hit ODI fifty runs by overpowering Pakistan's Shahid Afridi and India's Sachin Tendulkar's record.

Nepal on tour to the UAE, rallied from behind to beat the hosts in a series decider.

After winning the toss, Nepal opted to field first before restricting the hosts to a formidable score of 254/6 in their allotted 50 overs.

In reply, Nepal cantered to victory by four wickets with thirty-two balls to spare. Khadka smashed 115 runs, studded with fifteen fours and a maximum, off 109 balls before falling to lbw of Qadeer Ahmed's spin delivery with still 40 runs needed for victory.

However, in-form lower order batsman Sompal Kami finished the innings in style with a towering six in cow corner. He and Aarif Sheikh combined for 40 unbeaten runs for the seventh wicket to take the team home.

Spearhead Sompal Kami drew first blood as he removed opener Ashfaq Ahmed for a nought. Early on, UAE were pegged back for 2/2 inside five overs. At one stage, they were reeling at 47/4 before the lower middle order steadied their innings.

Shaiman Anwar top-scored for the hosts on 87 runs off just 70 balls with nine fours and two sixes. Mohammad Boota remained 59 not out and Chundangopoyil Rizwan contributed valuable 45 runs to pose a decent total on board.

Karan KC, Paras Khadka took two wickets each, whereas Sompal Kami and Sandeep Lamichanne chipped in with a wicket each.

Gyanendra Malla scored 31 runs off 35 balls and debutant Sandeep Jora contributed 19 runs in the winning cause. Record holder young batsman Rohit Kumar Paudel contributed 16 runs before nicking back to the wicket-keeper.

UAE's Imran Haider, Ashfaq Ahmed took two wickets, whereas Mohammad Naveed and Qadeer Ahmed chipped in with a wicket each.

Later, Nepal's captain Khadka was adjudged as man of the series of the tournament.

Earlier, Nepal had suffered three wickets defeat in their opening match before thrashing the hosts by a wide margin of 145 runs victory in the second to level the series 1-1.

After gaining ODI status after world cup qualifying games in Zimbabwe, Nepal toured to the Netherlands before embarking to Gulf states for three ODIs and three T20 Internationals. They played a 1-1 draw in the Europe tour.

Meanwhile, Nepal, at present, are suspended by the ICC and are ineligible to hosts ODI matches in home.