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Sharad holds key as Nepal beat UAE in warm-up fixture

Feb 27, 2018 | Cricketingnepal |
Nepal defeated United Arab Emirates by five wickets in their official warm-up match ahead of the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifiers in Zimbabwe on Tuesday

Sharad Vesawkar played a key role in the team's victory as the middle order batsman glued to the crease forging crucial partnerships with Dipendra Singh Airee and Aarif Sheikh as Nepal chased down 172-run target in 28.2 overs for the loss of five wickets. 

The match was reduced 29-over-a-side due to wet outfield and UAE lost a flurry of wickets in the last two overs to get bundled out for 171 in 28.5 overs. 
Nepal had a rocking start when Gyanendra Malla (12) hit three boundaries in the first over bowled by Qadeer Ahmed. But Nepal lost Dilip Nath (four), Gyanendra and Anil Sah (11) to get reduced to 39-3 in 7.5 overs. 

Skipper Paras Khadka and Sharad shared 30 runs for the fourth wicket before the Nepali captain fell to his opposite number Rohan Mustafa. Paras hit a boundary in his 39-ball 28. 

In came Dipendra Singh Airee to do the bulk of scoring in his 57-run partnership with Sharad. Dipendra played a cameo of 32-ball 41 hitting four boundaries and a six and although he departed, Nepal were well withing the sight of target. 

Sharad and Aarif then did some quick scoring in an unbroken 46-run partnership for the sixth wicket that took them 32 deliveries. Aarif hit a 15-ball 23 with two fours and a six. Sharad was unbeaten on 41 off 54 with one hit over the fence. Amir Hayat took two wickets for the Emiratis. 

Earlier, Nepal rested Sompal Kami and Lalit Singh Bhandari struck early with the wicket of Mustafa (four) in the second over. But Ashfaq Ahmed and Ghulam Shabber (32) shared 65 runs for the second wicket to put UAE in a strong position. 

Paras removed Shabber and national team's latest entrant Lalit Rajbanshi removed Rameez Shahzad (duck) to slow down the momentum. Rajbanshi struck again with the wicket of Ashfaq who made 42 from 51 balls with four boundaries and a six. 

Shaiman Anwar (16) fell to seamer Lalit as UAE were reduced to 98-5 in 21 overs. However, Muhammad Usman (26) and Adnan Mufti did some quick scoring with a 67-run partnership for the sixth wicket guiding UAE towards a challenging total. 

UAE then lost their last five wickets for just six runs in order to up the ante. Karan KC took three wickets in his final two overs, while Lalit added two more to his tally. 

Mufti was the second best scorer for UAE making 37 off 26 with four boundaries. Fast bowler Lalit took 4-40 from six overs and Karan had the figures of 3-38 from 5.5.

Nepal will now play Hong Kong at the same venue in their second and final practice match on Thursday

The tournament begins on March 4 with Nepal meeting hosts Zimbabwe. Afghanistan, Scotland and Hong Kong are the other three teams in Nepal's Group 'B'.


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