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UAE lays grassy trap as Nepal lose opener

Jan 25, 2019 | CN Staff |

Hosts United Arab Emirates (UAE) laid trap of a grassy wicket against Nepal to win the first One Day International (ODI) by three wickets at the ICC Academy Oval in Dubai on Friday.

Nepal were coming out of their comfort zone of playing in slow pitches back home and UAE took full advantage as hosts playing their Associate archrivals on a grassy pitch that offered a lot for fast bowlers and bundled out the visitors for just 113 runs in 33.5 overs.

Nepali bowlers did extremely well to reduced UAE to 73-7 at one stage but an unbeaten 43-run partnership between Imran Haider and Amir Hayat took UAE to 116-7 in 32.1 overs.

“It was not the easiest of pitches. It was almost like green top where both teams struggled. The game was in our hand when we reduced them to 73-7 but the last partnership took the game away from us,” said Nepal skipper Paras Khadka.

Nepal didn’t have the best of the start losing their new opening pair of Gyanendra Malla (duck) and Binod Bhandari (five) inside seven overs – both falling to UAE captain and fast bowling spearhead Mohammad Naveed.

The best Nepal did was a 28-run third wicket partnership between Paras and Sompal and with the former’s departure, the story was all about their struggle to cross triple figures.

Sompal, who batted at No 4 for the first time, top scored for Nepal with a 47-ball 30 with three fours. Paras made 20 off 36 with three hits to the fence. Nepal lost another key member Dipendra Singh Airee (duck) to a run out before Sompal, Aarif Sheikh and Sandeep Lamichhane took Nepal across triple figures.

Aarif made 25 off 43 with three boundaries and Sandeep was last man to go for a 27-ball 15. Naveed and Amir Hayat took three wickets each for UAE.

Nepal did extremely well in their defense but with a very low total to chase, Hayat and Haider kept their cool to take the game away. Man-of-the-match Hayat made 24 off 42 with a six and a four, while Haider scored 18.

Ghulam Shabber made 30 off 48 with three boundaries. Karan KC, Paras and Sandeep took two wickets each for Nepal. 


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