Sandeep Jora of Nepal bats as Ghulam Shabber of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) looks on during their T20 international cricket match at the ICC Academy in Dubai, the UAE on Thursday. Photo Courtesy: Cricketingnepal
KATHMANDU, Feb 1: Nepal’s Sundeep Jora became youngest male cricketer to score an international half-century in T20 cricket on his route to unbeaten 53 runs in debut match but failed to prevent Nepal’s 21-run defeat against the United Arab Emirates (UAE) at ICC Academy in Dubai on Thursday. He is the youngest half-centurion on debut match as well.
Nepal lost the first T20I match of the three-match series after it was limited to 132 runs in 20 overs for the loss of seven wickets chasing 154 against the UAE.
Jora at 17 years and 103 days is also ninth youngest male cricketer to make a debut in T20Is as he faced 46 deliveries which included three fours and a six. His partnership of 39 runs with Sompal Kami who scored 27 runs from 19 deliveries was saving grace for Nepal when things looked slim at 89 runs for the loss of six wickets at the end of 14 overs.
Similarly, another teenage batsman and ODI record-holder for youngest half-century, Rohit Kumar Paudel became third youngest cricketer to debut in men’s T20Is.
Paudel didn’t trouble the scorers much scoring four runs from eight deliveries. Likewise, Nepal’s first ever ODI centurion and skipper Paras Khadka scored 25 runs off 25 balls opening the innings.
Pradeep Airee was dismissed for golden duck followed by Gyanendra Malla (7), Dipendra Singh Airee (4) and Karan KC (4) in disappointing day of batting for visiting team.
Pace bowlers Zahoor Khan and skipper Mohammad Naveed shared two wickets each conceding 17 and 19 runs in their respective four overs in the match keeping Nepali batsmen at check throughout the innings.
Sultan Ahmed picked two wickets as well supported by Amir Hayat’s wicket in a fruitful day for UAE pacers.
Earlier, Nepal won the toss and invited the UAE to bat first.
Shaiman Anwar led the UAE batting continuing his good form from ODI series and scored a half-century as UAE bounced back from their one-day international series defeat to Nepal with a win in the first Twenty20 international.
Player of the match Anwar, who is ranked seventeenth in the world standings for T20 batsmen, hit 59 in 38
deliveries which included five fours and two sixes to propel the UAE to 153-6 in their 20 overs.
The hosts had a slow start as in-form Nepali pacer Sompal Kami continued to haunt UAE batsmen registering bowling figures of 1-16 from three miserly overs supported by globe-trotting spin sensation Sandeep Lamichhane with 2-25 from four overs continuing from where they left in the 50-over series. Veteran left-arm spinner Basant Regmi who replaced Lalit Rajbanshi also chipped in with two wickets to keep the UAE total under par score of 160.
Mohammed Boota, who scored a blistering half-century in final ODI, once again provided fireworks toward the end of the innings with a brisk unbeaten 20 not out, in partnership with Anwar.
Naveed, the UAE captain, dismissed Pradeep Airee off the first ball of Nepal’s reply, as the national team started the defense of their total with intent.
Mohammad Usman and CP Rizwan scored 30 and 22 runs respectively from 24 and 19 deliveries to contribute crucial runs to the UAE’s match-winning total.
Karan KC was the most expensive bowler of the match conceding 43 runs from his four overs.
Similarly, debutant, Nepal’s third in the match, Avinash Bohora picked up the priced scalp of Anwar conceding 36 runs from his four overs bowled toward the end of the innings.
Nepal skipper Paras Khadka rued poor batting which never got momentum while chasing reason for the failure in first T20I.
“I think, we could have batted better. One among the top four need to stay till the end. We never got momentum while chasing. Earlier, bowlers did a great job to limit them to 153.”
He also praised the young Jora’s matured and impressive debut.
“He played very well. It is great to see young players just go out there and start performing. It’s good for Nepal cricket.”
Nepal and the UAE will lock horns in second T20I on Friday.