Imam ul Haq of Pakistan scored unbeaten 105 as Pakistan U23 beat Nepal by 6 wickets in the first match of the ACC Emerging Teams Cup 2017 at the Sheikh Kamal International Cricket Stadium Academy Ground, Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh on March 27.
22-year-old Haq, whose uncle Inzamam ul Haq was one of the greatest batsmen for Pakistan, carried the bat throughout the innings as Pakistan U23 chased Nepal’s 180/9 with 29 balls remaining.
Nepal’s bowlers struggled with bowling as the Pakistani openers, Imran Butt (20) and Haq racked up 67 runs in 17 overs. Haris Sohail (17), Mohammad Rizwan (10) and Hussail Talat (0) were other batsmen out as Haq ensured that he kept an end intact and runs flowing. Hammad Azam remained unbeaten on 22.
Nepal’s Sandeep Lamichhane and captain Gyanendra Malla, who rarely bowls, shared four wickets.
After Pakistan U23 invited Nepal to bat first, Nepal struggled with batting as well. Opener Gyanendra scored 2 in 24 balls before leaving ht field while valiant effort from Sunil Dhamala, who top scored with 43 runs off 126 balls, and Sharad Vesawkar, who got 38 runs off 58 balls, took Nepal to a respectable total. Binod Bhandari (24), Arif Sheikh (18) and Dipendra Singh Airee (14) chipped in a few runs but that was never going to the enough for Pakistan U23.
Player of the match Ghulam Mudassar claimed 5 wickets for 26 runs while Usama Mir took a couple.
Nepal will play hosts Bangladesh U23 on March 28.
Brief Scores: Nepal 180/9 in 50 overs (Sunil Dhamala 43, Sharad Vesawkar 38, Binod Bhandari 24, Ghulam Mudassar 5/26, Usama Mir 2/38) lost to Pakistan U23 183/4 in 45.1 overs (Imam ul Haq 105*, Hammad Azam 22*, Imrat Butt 20, Sandeep Lamichhanel 2/32, Gyanendra Malla 2/44) by 6 wickets.