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Finisher Sharad hands Nepal third spot

Sharad Vesawkar pulled off yet another sensational chase as Nepal finished third in the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifiers — a tournament which they finished seventh in the last edition — at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi with hosts UAE once again falling prey on Saturday.

 

Sharad, who finished crucial matches against Kenya and Hong Kong, once again blitzed with a 28-ball 43 handing Nepal a five-wicket victory with four balls to spare. Nepal managed to contain the UAE for 131-5 after Basanta Regmi returned with record bowling figures taking 4-16 and Sharad played a perfect role of a finisher taking Nepal to 133-5 in 19.2 overs. 

 

At one stage, Nepal were 99-5 in 17 overs with 33 runs remaining. Anil Mandal hit two boundaries in the 18th that fetched Nepal 11 runs. Sharad then hit a six in the 19th as Nepal collected another 11 in the 19th.

 

Nepal needed 11 runs from the final over and UAE handed ball to their frontline spinner Shadeep Silva who miserly gave away 10 runs in his first three-over spell despite being wicketless. Sharad hit the first two balls for huge sixes proving his transformation as a trusted finisher.

 

Sharad had handed Nepal a historic 184-run chase against Kenya smashing 20 runs with three sixes in the last over when Nepal needed 17 from six balls. His consecutive six and a boundary in a one-ball thriller against Hong Kong in the playoffs was precious in Nepal’s qualification in the 2014 World Twenty20.

 

Skipper Paras Khadka, who was dismissed for two runs, appreciated Sharad’s innings. “Sharad has been amazing in this tournament. He has worked very hard like other team members,” said Paras. Sagar Pun (19) once again gave a modest start but couldn’t make it big again, while Gyanendra Malla (four) and Paras didn’t last long.

 

Sharad shared 47 runs for the four wicket with opener Subash Khakurel who contributed 38 from 46 with three fours.Back-to-back wickets of Subash and Binod Bhandari (duck) reduced Nepal to 97-5 and from there on Sharad Vesawkar and Anil — playing his second match of the tournament — combined for quickfire 36-run stand from 18 balls.

 

Earlier, Basanta Regmi surpassed Shakti Gauchan‘s 4-20 figures that paralysed UAE. Basanta bowled Amjad Javed (24) and skipper Khurram Khan (one) reducing UAE for 28-2 in six overs. Opener Abdul Shakoor and Rohan Mustafa (24) resisted with a 48-run stand before Shakti had the latter stumped by Subash. 

 

Four runs later Basanta removed Shakoor for 28 off 39 that halted UAE. Shaiman Anwar played some delightful strokes making 24 off 16 before Basanta cleaned him up at 101-5. UAE collected just 30 runs from the last 4.2 overs.

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