UAE beat Nepal in rain-hit match


Nepal lost their second and final practice match against the United Arab Emirates by 20 runs under the D/L method, ahead of the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifiers in Stormont, Ireland, on Tuesday.

Batting first after skipper Paras Khadka won the toss, Nepal managed to score 84-7 in 18-over-a-side match. The UAE had reached 81-2 in 14 overs when rain stopped the play.

Sharad Vesawkar top scored for Nepal with an unbeaten 38 off 37 balls that included two fours and a six, while vice captain Gyanendra Malla and Pradeep Airee scored 13 runs each. Nepal made the worst possible start after Khadka chose to take the first strike, losing openers Subash Khakurel and Sagar Pun with just four runs on the board. Skipper Khadka joined the duo at the pavilion and his deputy Malla followed soon leaving the team reeling at 33-4.

Wickets kept tumbling and Nepal were tottering at 40-6 in 9.4 overs after Rajesh Pulami and Binod Bhandari were dismissed in the 10th over. Vesawkar and Airee shared a 32-run partnership for the seventh wicket before the latter fell for 13.

Vesawkar then added 12 runs with Sompal Kami (run-a-ball seven not out) for the unbroken eighth wicket stand. Manjula Guruge took 3-12 for the UAE, while Moohammad Shahzad claimed two wickets.

In reply, the UAE raced to 32-1 in six overs and crossed the 50-run mark two overs later. Persistent rain stopped the play at a time when the UAE needed just four runs from four overs with eight wickets remaining. No further play was possible and the UAE won the match by 20 runs under D/L method.

UAE opener Faizan Asif scored 24 off 21 balls hitting five fours, while Amjad Ali remained unbeaten on 30-ball 21. Mohammad Shahzad scored 13 and Umair Ali scored 16 not out. Jitendra Mukhiya and Sagar Pun took one wicket each for Nepal.

In the World T20 Qualifiers, Nepal are in Group A along with defending champions Ireland, the USA, Hong Kong, Jersey, Namibia, and Papua New Guinea. Nepal will open the campaign with a match against the USA on July 10.

Afghanistan, Canada, Kenya, the Netherlands, Oman, Scotland and the UAE are in Group B. Six qualifiers from the 14-team tournament will join 10 Full Members in the ICC World Twenty20 slated for March 11 to April 3 next year in India.