Failure of opening haunted one more time as Nepal lost to the UAE by six wickets in their second warm-up match ahead of the ICC World Twenty20 in Fatullah, Bangladesh on Friday.
The match gave an opportunity to the new opening pair of Sagar Pun and Subash Khakurel to shape up for the tournament but after the stand lasted for just three runs in a tough pitch to bat on, middle order succumbed to the pressure resulting in team’s dismissal of 95 in 20 overs.
Nepali bowlers did manage to pick up four UAE wickets but a target in double figures was always going to be an easy task. UAE reached 99-4 with seven balls to spare.
Skipper Paras Khadka gave Nepal a rocking start with the second-ball dismissal of opener Amjad Ali with Som Pal Kami and Shakti Gauchan also picking up wickets reducing UAE to 34-3 inside eight overs.
However, Swapnil Patil and Shaiman Anwar stood firm taking UAE close to the target. Basanta Regmi did manage to get the wicket of Swapnil late in the innings but by that time, the game was already out of Nepal’s grasp. Swapnil made 33 and Shaiman scored 30 not out.
Earlier, the warm-up tie sent an alarming notice to the team camp after Sagar and Subash failed to give a desired start. Sagar was dismissed early in the innings for just one run exerting more pressure on the middle order for which the team dearly paid.
In-form Gyanendra Malla was next to go for just nine and a brief resistance offered by Subash and Paras with a 36-run stand could no more than save the team blushes. Subash top scored in the match with 28 runs hitting three fours in 33 balls, while Paras made 27 from 36 with just one four. Basanta Regmi – who hit the only six of Nepali innings – made 10 runs.