The Nepal national cricket team ended a winning streak of five one-day internationals with a 68-game losing streak against hosts United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the Triangle Series at the Dubai International Cricket World Cup League 2 Stadium on Thursday.
Nepal put on a wretched show with the bat and were sent to bat first for 139 off 31.5 in the chasing hosts UAE, 207-8 in over 50 overs.
Intermediate batsman Kushal Malla was Nepal’s top scorer with 53 balls for 60 runs, including nine hits for the fence and six strikes. Besides him, the other Nepalese batsmen to hit double digits were trailer Sandeep Lamichhane (24 balls, 26 runs not out) and opener Aasif Sheikh (17 balls, 16 runs).
The defeat meant Nepal missed out on a chance to overtake the UAE in the seven-team standings. After playing 30 games, Nepal has 28 points, 3 points behind the UAE. Nepal needs to win four of its remaining six matches to secure a top-five finish which will help it maintain ODI status for the next four years.
Nepal beat Papua New Guinea (PNG) by four wickets in Monday’s series first match, while the UAE lost 131 runs to PNG. Nepal has won five consecutive ODIs in its last five ODIs, beating League 2 champions Scotland and Namibia twice each in Nepal’s three-peat in Kirtipur from February 14-21 and defeating them in the final match. Papua New Guinea.
Nepal and Papua New Guinea play the next match in the series on Friday.
Nepal got off to a shaky start in their chase and lost early wickets 17-3. Opener Kushal Bhurtel was sent off for five runs, while former skipper Gyanendra Malla and skipper Rohit Paudel left without trouble for the scorer.
Opener Aasif Sheikh was the next batsman to be sent off after Zahoor Khan knocked him 54-4 over Rohan Mustafa.
Kushal Malla put up some resistance against Nepal when he batted five, but he couldn’t get support from the other end as Nepal lost wickets in quick succession. He hit nine for the fence and six overs before Rohan Mustafa caught him from Karthik Meiyappan’s delivery.
Aarif Sheikh went out for ducks and Dipendra Singh Airee (7), Sompal Kami (4), Gulsan Jha (4) and Karan KC (5) also left cheaply. Tailender Lamichhane hit four boundaries in his unbeaten 24-ball run.
UAE all-rounders Rohan Mustafa and Karthik Meiyappan both took three wickets, while Junaid SIddique took two. Mustafa gave up 31 points in his 10-plus-point games and made two maiden pitches. Meiyappan gave away 26 runs in his 8.5 overs bowling.
The Emirates also lost their first over with a duck in the first over after he was bowled on the fifth ball of the game by mid-speeder Karan KC. But his opening partners Asif Khan and Rohan Mustafa broke half-centuries, the latter remaining unbeaten.
Opener White Khan struck 72 off 99 balls before leg spinner Sandeep Lamichhane allowed him to be caught by Karan KC and the team scored 139-4. He hit five boundaries and three sixes. Intermediate batsman Mustafa scored 52 off 76 balls strewn with two boundaries.
Aryan Lakra (36 off 28), captain Chundangapoyil Rizwan (40 off 22) and Vritya Aravind (38 off 18) were the other major contributors for the UAE.
Leg spinner Lamichhane was Nepal’s top bowler, taking three wickets and conceding 27 runs in 10 overs.
Lamichhane was included in the squad against the UAE after him travel ban lifted According to the Supreme Court ruling on Monday.The 22-year-old was accused of raping a minor and Patan High Court bail January 13th.
Kushal Malla, Karan KC and Aarif Sheikh each share one ticket gate.