2018 Asia Cup Qualifiers

Nepal in improbable qualification scenario after the UAE defeat

Published On: August 31, 2018 11:46 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Aug 31: The Nepal national cricket team fell to a disappointing 78-run defeat at the hands of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the second match of the ACC (Asian Cricket Council) Asian Cup Qualifiers at the Kinrara Academy Oval in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Thursday. Nepal was all out for 176 runs in 48.5 overs chasing the total of 254 posted by the UAE.

In another disappointing batting display, Nepal struggled throughout the chase lagging behind the run rate by recognizable margin before surrendering a loss of 78 runs to the UAE. The opening batsman Subash Khakurel became fourth Nepali to score a half-century in ODIs but used up 97 deliveries before getting out on the score of 50. The run-rate had climbed up to 8.28 at the time of his dismissal during the end of 30th over. He smashed two fours and a six in his innings. 

Skipper Paras Khadka was stumped out by spinner Ahmed Raza for 16 runs in his third attempt to get a boundary after scoring two at the start of the ninth over. Sagar Pun, making his ODI debut, could only score three runs off 20 deliveries. 

The second top scorer of the Nepal innings, Dipendra Singh Airee was caught by Ashfaq Ahmed off Mohammad Naveed for 40 runs trying to up the raise the run-rate which climbed to more than 10 runs per over. He faced 64 deliveries including two fours.

Similarly, Sompal Kami, the man of the match of Nepal’s first ever ODI win, was left stranded on not out 27 runs coming in at number nine. He faced 34 deliveries and smashed a four and a six in his cameo. Basant Regmi was the only other double digit scorer scoring 12 runs.

The UAE’s Ahmed Raza picked up four wickets and took his tally to 10 for the tournament in only two matches. Pace bowler Naveed registered a three wicket haul and Amir Hayat chipped in with two wickets to bundle Nepal out for paltry score.

Earlier, Nepal had won the toss and elected to bowl first in wicket looking good for batting. The UAE openers, Ahmed and centurion of last match, Chirag Suri, shared a solid opening partnership of 70 runs. Ahmed was dismissed for 45 runs facing 41 deliveries including four boundaries and two sixes. Suri went to register a fifty before getting dismissed for 65 runs facing 91 deliveries. Airee produced a brilliant piece of fielding to run-out Suri who smashed seven fours and a six in his innings.

Sandeep Lamichhane dismissed the UAE’s eighth wicket Naveed at the score of 212 to complete his four-wicket haul. Veteran left arm spinner Regmi also picked up two wickets. 
However, the left-handed batsman Adnan Mufti scored an unbeaten quickfire 57 runs off 48 deliveries to take the UAE total to 254 runs for the loss of nine wickets. He shared a crucial partnership of 38 runs with Raza, who contributed 12 runs, for the ninth wicket.

In other match of the day, Oman survived a cliffhanger of a match against the host Malaysia to win by two wickets in the last over of the match played at the UKM-YSD Ground in Bangi, Malaysia. 

Oman produced a combined batting effort led by Ajay Lacheta’s unbeaten 44 runs to overcome regular strikes provided by Malaysia during the chase. Malaysia’s Abdul Rashid and Muhammad Anwar picked up four and three wickets respectively, but the effort went in vain. 

Earlier, Malaysia posted 198 runs for the loss of eight wickets in its 50 overs after being asked to bat first by Oman. Virandeep Singh scored an unbeaten 74 runs to boost the low score. Bilal Khan and Fayyaz Butt shared three wickets each for Oman.

Similarly, in the third match of the day, Hong Kong got back to winning ways defeating Singapore by five wickets in a match played at the Bayeumas Oval. 

Kinchit Shah top scored with an unbeaten 47 runs to take Hong Kong over the line in the 35th over. Earlier, spin bowler Nadeem Ahmed picked up four wickets to bundle Singapore out for a mere 150 runs after inviting it to bat first, winning the toss. Tanwir Afzal and Ehsan Nawaz shared two wickets each.

Nepal chances of qualifying now hinges on a few factors. First, Nepal will need to win the rest of the matches against Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong with a  fair margin to boost up the depleted net run rate of -0.9 after a huge loss against the UAE. 

Secondly, the UAE will have to win rest of its matches too including the competitive teams in Hong Kong and Oman. And lastly, Hong Kong or Singapore will have to do Nepal a favor by defeating Oman. If all the three cases are met, Nepal can qualify for the final match on September 6 and meet the UAE in the final.


The Nepali spin duo of veteran Regmi and teenage Lamichhane has completed 50 wickets each in 38 and 24 List-A matches respectively. Regmi picked up two wickets against the UAE in the second match of the Asia Cup Qualifiers to achieve the feat. Regmi averages 25 runs per wicket and concedes four runs per over in his List-A career so far. Similarly, his best bowling in a match is three wickets for 34 runs.

Lamichhane has become the fastest Nepali to reach 50 wickets achieving the feat in 24 matches after picking up a four-wicket-haul against the UAE on Thursday. His best of five wickets for 20 runs came in the last ICC World Cup Qualifiers played at Zimbabwe. Similarly, he has an impressive average of 17 runs per wicket and an economy of less than four runs.

Nepal pace bowler Sompal Kami is heading the elusive chart with 58 wickets to his name after 40 matches.

Nepal will now face the host nation Malaysia on Saturday and Oman will face Singapore at Kuala Lumpur. Similarly, the UAE will face Hong Kong at Bangi on the same day.

ACC Asia Cup Qualifiers at Kuala Lumpur
United Arab Emirates 254/9
Suri 65, Mufti 57*, Lamichhane 24/4
Nepal (Toss) 176 (48.5
ov, target 255)
Khakurel 50, Raza 37/4, Naveed 48/3
UAE won by 78 runs
Player of the Match: Ahmed Raza

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