Nepal scored a total that has become unimaginable giving poor batting performances with captain Paras Khadka getting a classy century, still UAE beat Nepal by 7 runs to claim the World Cricket League Division 2 title at the Wanderers.
Paras hit three sixes in the final over to complete his century and finish high on unbeaten 112 but it was enough to surpass UAE’s 277 for 4. Nepal fall short by 7 runs – as they just scored 6 runs in earlier two overs making it impossible in the final over to win.
Ashfaq Ahmed led UAE’s innings with a century to finish at 277/4 after being invited to bat first. The opening pair, Ashfaq and captain Rohan Mustafa, added 109 in 24 overs before Mustafa fell to Basant Regmi.
Rameez Shahzad scored 41 not out and Shaiman Anwar got 40 for UAE. Sompal Kami, Basant and Sandeep Lamichhane each claimed a wicket.
In reply, Nepal got a good start as Gyanendra Malla (24) and Dilip Nath (13) put on 38. Dilip was then was bowled by Mustafa and two balls later, Gyanendra was out as first victim to pacer Amir Hayat.
Paras partnered with Dipendra Singh Airee (35) to add 73. Sharad Vesawkar (30) and Rohit Paudel (27) got some runs while partnering Paras but Nepal lost wickets in regular intervals and the run-rate reached too high. UAE bowled two good penultimate overs before the final over.
For UAE, Hayat claimed 4 wickets. Ashfaq was declared man of the match.
Leading run scorer
Paras ended the tournament on high becoming the leading scorer with 241 runs that included a century and a half-century in 6 matches. He hit 11 fours and 15 sixes to get those runs. He finished ahead of Ashfaq who is second four runs behind him with 237.
Nepal’s next best batsman was Rohit Paudel, who scored 140, in his debut tournament.
World Cup Qualifiers Groups
As the winner, UAE joins Group A for the World Cup Qualifiers while Nepal is in Group B.
Group A: West Indies, Ireland, Netherlands, Papua New Guinea and UAE.
Group B: Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, Scotland, Hong Kong and Nepal.
Sandeep’s Player of the Series
Nepal’s 17-year-old Sandeep Lamichhane was awarded the Man of the Series award for his dominant performance in the tournament.
Sandeep grabbed 17 wickets in 6 matches, and was awarded man of the match in two of Nepal’s victories. He finished top wicket taker along with Bilal Khan of Oman. He was also the featured in two last wicket partnership that won the matches for Nepal.