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UAE shatter Nepal’s World Cup dreams

Nepal’s Twenty20 World Cup dreams ended on Tuesday after a perfect UAE side outplayed their archrivals in the semi-finals of the Global Qualifiers.

At the Al Ameerat Cricket Academy, 19-year old Vritya Aravind gave UAE a perfect start as the Emiratis were lifted by a 48-ball 70 from Muhammad Waseem leading his side to a commanding 175-7 in 20 overs.

Nepal were never in control after a burst of opening spell from Junaid Siddique reduced them to 14-3 by the third over before getting bundled out for 107 all out in 18.4 overs.

UAE fast bowlers kept Nepal under check with accurate line and length before their skipper Ahmed Raza completed a five-wicket haul with prized scalps of in-form Dipendra Singh Airee and former captain Gyanendra Malla, the two top scorers of the game for Nepal.

Dipendra was the centre of Nepal’s two big partnerships — 36 with Aarif Sheikh (11) and 33 with Gyanendra. He was trapped for a run-a-ball 38 soon after Waseem took a brilliant diving catch.

Gyanendra, given role of a finisher at No 6 but had to bail out his team from trouble, scored a 16-ball 20 with a six and a four.

Earlier, Jitendra Mukhiya struck in his first over and team’s second bowling Chirag Suri (four) to give Nepal a bright start. But Aravind, who is in a form of his life, schooled Nepali bowlers with high quality shots. He did the majority of scoring in his 66-run partnership with Waseem by smacking a 23-ball 46 with five fours and three sixes.

After Aravind’s departure, UAE innings was all about Waseem. He hit four sixes and as many boundaries. Jitendra and Abinash Bohora took three wickets each but were clobbered for 81 runs in their collective seven overs. Skipper Sandeep Lamichhane was the most economical bowler for Nepal taking 1-24 from four overs.

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