POKHARA, Jan 21: Aarif Sheikh completed his first century in one-day cricket during CAN (Cricket Association of Nepal) President XI’s win in the first practice match against Malaysia Secretary XI in the Nepal cricket team’s closed camp held at Pokhara Stadium’s cricket ground in Pokhara on Monday.
Aarif remained unbeaten on 101 runs off 105 deliveries which included seven fours and five sixes. CAN XI posted a total of 276 runs in 47 overs before losing all its wickets. Malaysia XI was bundled out for 142 runs in 37.2 overs as the home team secured a 134 runs win.
Aarif shared a partnership of 152 runs for the fourth wickets with young batsman Sundeep Jora who contributed 58 runs. Skipper Gyanendra Malla, Paras Khadka, returning Subash Khakurel shared 19, 15 and 12 runs respectively. Similarly, Karan KC’s 14-ball 25 runs and Kushal Malla’s 6-ball 14 runs provided the much needed boost to Nepal total.
Malaysia’s Pavandeep Singh and Mohammad Arif Jamaluddin shared three wickets each in the innings whereas Nazril and Anwar Rahman chipped in with two and a wicket each. CAN XI bowlers produced a disciplined performance as Malaysia's innings ended in 37.2 overs adding 142 runs before losing all its wickets. Pokhara’s home boy KC and Kamal Singh Airee shared three wickets each whereas Kushal Malla, Avinash Bohara and Khadka chipped in with two, and a wicket each respectively.
Middle-order batsman Syed Aziz and wicket-keeper batsman Ainool Haqqiem top-scored with identical scores of 28 runs each. Aziz faced 29 deliveries which included three boundaries and a six whereas Haqqiem stayed for 47 deliveries which included four boundaries. Likewise, Virandeep Singh stayed 50 deliveries at the crease scoring 24 runs and registering three boundaries during his innings.
Malaysia is touring Nepal under its development program. The team participated in the Manmohan Memorial National One-day Cricket Tournament held in Inaruwa before traveling to Pokhara to participate in Nepal’s closed camp.
Nepal is preparing for the upcoming home leg of ICC World Cup Cricket League 2 from February 5-12. The home team will host United States and Oman in an ODI tri-series.