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Subash, Mehboob star in Nepal’s victory

Nepal put on a convincing show to defeat their archrivals UAE by four wickets in the ACC Premier League opener at the Selangor Turf Club in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday.

 

Mehboob Alam’s three-wicket haul in his comeback game and Subash Khakurel’s patient batting helped Nepal avenge the 102-run humiliating loss inflicted by the UAE in January’s ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifiers.

 

Electing to field first, Mehboob and Som Pal Kami picked up three wickets each as UAE were bundled out for just 191 runs in 48.1 overs. Nepal though lost new opener Naresh Budhayer (two) with just six runs on board, Subash got involved in three crucial partnerships taking Nepal to 195-6 in 39.5 overs.

 

Before Subash began to move his feet, Gyanendra Malla provided the impetus with a fluent scoring to make 47 off 37 in a 66-run second wicket stand. Gyanendra clobbered seven boundaries and a six before losing his wicket to Fayyaz Ahmed.

 

Skipper Paras Khadka stepped in and with Subash shifted the momentum completely towards Nepal with another 59-run stand for the third wicket. Paras made 30 off 40 with three boundaries. Just a ball after Paras’ departure, Subash completed his half century in 66 balls with a boundary off Salman Faris.

 

Subash shared 38 runs with Sharad Vesawkar (16) and when he departed, Nepal were just 27 runs sigh of victory. Subash scored 71 off 91 with 11 hits to the fence. Nepal though lost Sharad and Mehboob in quick succession, Binod Bhandari (nine) and Basanta Regmi (eight) finished it off perfectly.

 

Earlier, Mehboob opened the floodgates for Nepal removing opener Amjad Ali (seven). Som Pal then got rid of skipper Khurram Khan (duck) and Sagar Pun’s dismissal of Salman Faris (16) put Nepal on front foot.

 

Swapnil Patil and Shaiman Anwar (14) defied Nepali attack for a while before Shakti Gauchan had the latter caught by Sharad. Swapnil then combined with Krishnachandran Karate for a 72-run stand to make sure UAE gain some respect with the bat.

 

Swapnil smashed 76 off 95 hitting eight boundaries and two sixes before falling victim of a run out. Karate and Mohammad Shahzad offer a brief resistance but when Shakti dismissed the former, UAE went on to lose their last five wickets for just six runs. Som Pal and Mehboob shared two lower order wickets between them.

 

Mehboob, who luckily made into the national team replacing injured Amrit Bhattarai, returned with 3-21 from eight overs conceding just one boundary throughout. Som Pal took 3-39 from 9.1, while Shakti returned with miserly figures of 2-31 from 10 overs.

 

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