Nepal’s preparation for the upcoming ICC World Cricket League Division 2 ended with mixed results after a loss in third and final preparatory match against the UAE ‘A’ on February 2. Nepal won two and lost one against the same opponents.

In the first match played on January 30, Nepal registered a 25 run victory after bundling out home team for 221 in 48.4 overs. Skipper Paras Khadka bagged 5-wicket haul while U-19 skipper Dipendra Singh Airee helped him with 3 wickets. Earlier, Nepal posted 246 in 49.3 overs. Opener Dilip Nath top-scored with 60 runs off 61 balls while Rohit Kumar Paudel chipped in valuable 43 runs in the middle. Karan KC’s 16-ball-35 with 4 fours and 2 sixes meant Nepal finished innings on a high note.

Vice captain Gyanendra Malla stole the limelight on January 31 as Nepal romped on to register a massive 193 run victory. Gyanendra hit 17 boundaries to score 154 runs off 134 balls. He, along with fellow opener Dilip Nath, put up opening partnership of 142 runs for the first wicket. Dilip was unlucky to be runout for 64 runs. Dipendra contributed run-a-ball 34 while Md. Arif Shekih hit unbeaten 41 off 33 balls to take Nepal past 300 run mark. Nepal posted handsome 333/5 in 50 overs. IPL-bound Sandeep Lamichhane starred in bowling as he took 4 wickets for 36 runs as UAE ‘A’ were bowled out for paltry 140 off 40.2 overs. Paras Khadka took two wickets as Sompal Kami and Shakti Gauchan shared one a piece.

The final match did not stand on the same page with the previous two as Nepal’s traditional batting woe continued. Chasing 216 run target set by UAE ‘A’, Nepal folded out for just 151 runs in 38.5 overs. Opener Dilip Nath got golden duck in the second ball of second over and Sharad Veswakar soon followed him to the pavillion with just 8 runs on board. Skipper Paras top-scored with 41 runs while Dipendra (26) and Gyanendra (24) could not convert their starts.

In the first innings, UAE ‘A’ scored 215/9 in 50 overs after Chirag Suri scored 85 runs in 102 balls. Suri, who arrived in the middle after opener Khalid Shah was bowled by Lalit Singh Bhandari for 5 hit 10 boundaries in his patient innings. He fell to birthday boy Sompal Kami in the 48th over. Ali Mirza also contributed valuable 42 runs whilst remaining unbeaten batting No. 8. Sompal took 3 wickets and was helped on by fellow seamer Lalit who bagged two.

Nepal will leave for Namibia on February 4 and will face home side Namibia on February 8. The top 2 teams from the Division 2 will qualify for World Cup Qualifiers scheduled for next month in Zimbabwe.

Brief scores of the practices matches in UAE:

Match 1: January 30, 2018
Nepal : 246 in 49.3 overs (Dilip Nath 61, Laxman Srikumar 3/18)
UAE ‘A’: 221 in 48.4 overs (Neil Lobo 59, Paras Khadka 5/36)
Result: Nepal won by 25 Runs.

Match 2: January 31, 2018
Nepal: 333/5 in 50 Overs (Gyanendra Malla 154)
UAE ‘A’: 140 in 40.2 Overs (Mohammad Qassim 41, Sandeep Lamichhane 4-36)
Result: Nepal won by 193 Runs.

Match 3: February 2, 2018
UAE ‘A’: 215/9 in 50 Overs (Chirag Suri 85, Sompal Kami 3-56)
Nepal: 151 in 38.5 Overs (Paras Khadka 41, Karthik Mayappan 4-32)
Result: UAE ‘A’ won by 64 runs.