Kathmandu, July 2
Dipendra Singh Airy and Sandeep Ramichan hit the eighth wicket in a row in the seventh-place play-off semi-final of the International Cricket World Cup qualifier in Harare today. Scored 79 to lead Nepal to a wicket win over United Arab Emirates.
Batting first, the UAE took 181 off in 46.5 overs, before Nepal’s 40-run 185-7 at Takashinga Sports Club in Highfield. Nepal struggled at one point to go 55-5 in 18 overs, but Allie played a key role in leading the team to victory. Nepal made three adjustments to the squad, bringing in Arjun Saud, Gyanendra Mara and Pratis GC. But the move backfired and Nepal failed to get off to the expected start. Nepal lost opener Saudi Arabia (one) in the second round, while Mara followed suit, winning 29-2 in nine rounds.
Skippers Rohit Kumar Paudel (No. 4), Bhim Sharki (No. 1) and Aarif Sheikh (No. 1) were sacked cheaply , the Nepal team was under great pressure 55-5 in 18 rounds. Opener Kushal Bhurtel was sent off on 35 of 59 balls, including four fouls, and the score soon became 63-6.
Airee and Gulsan Jha added 43 points to push the team past triple digits. The UAE strengthened their grip after knocking out Jia (12) in the 29th over. Airee then teamed up with Lamichane to take the team home without another loss.
Man of the Match Airy remains unbeaten on 79 off 82 balls with seven throws and two sixes, while Ramichean is unbeaten on 23 off 37 balls The next hit two four-pointers. Mohammad Jawadulla took three wickets for the UAE, while Muhammad Junaid Siddique, Ali Naseer, Sanchet Shire Sanchit Sharma and Rohan Mustafa
Earlier, Karan KC and Sandeep Lamichane took three wickets each as Nepal beat the UAE in an under-par 46.5 overs.
KC allowed opener Asif Khan to duck behind the stumps to Arjun Saud on the second ball of the innings. Aryansh Sharma and skipper Vriitya Aravind revived the innings with a 64 in the second wicket before Lamichane burst through the stands. Rami Chane allowed Sharma to score 28 off 43 balls, including three fours.
Lamichane knocked out Rameez Shahzad (10 runs) and Gulsan Jha knocked captain Aravind down in 12 overs to narrow the UAE 97-4 in 28 overs. Alavinda topped the table with 44 off 75 balls, helped by four boundaries.
Rohan Mustafa and Basil Hamid added 58 at the fifth wicket to make the total respectable. Nepal took the last 6 wickets of the UAE for 26 runs. Mustafa hit 3 boundaries for 56 balls and scored 35 balls before being chased by Saud, while KC knocked out Hameed with 29 balls for 35 balls.
Lamichane is 3-23 in 10 rounds, while KC is 3-36 in 8.5 rounds. Pratis GC, Gulsan Jha and Dipendra Singh Airee each scored a goal for Nepal.
Nepal will now face Ireland in the seventh-place play-off. Ireland reached the play-off final after beating the United States on Saturday.
A version of this article appeared in The Himalaya Times on July 3, 2023.