After suffering the doom at United Cricket Club Ground, Windhoek in the third match of group stage, UAE wanted to seek revenge which they did successfully courtesy of Ashfaq Ahmed exceptional century. After a disappointing performance in the previous encounter, it was now the batsmen’s turn to compensate for their failure, which they achieved successfully.
The high score helped UAE in winning the match, though their performance with the ball was blemish. The victory makes UAE the champions of the ICC World Cricket League division-2.
UAE made an adventurous start scoring 50 runs in just 11.4 over’s without ay casualties. Openers Rohan Mustafa and Ashfaq Ahmed gave UAE a very good start by adding 109 runs for the first wicket. UAE kept assembling series of partnership helping them to post mammoth 277 on the board. After Mustafa (51) fell victim to Basant Regmi, Ashfaq along with Ghulam Shabber put on a partnership of 54 runs for the second wicket. Ashfaq once more crafted a partnership of 48 runs for the third wicket with Rameez Shahzad (41) before getting dismissed to Sandeep Lamichhane.
Ashfaq 114 runs innings came from 123 balls that incorporated ten boundaries and three shots over the rope. Shaiman Anwar’s bombard of 40 runs from 29 balls helped steer the innings towards the end serving to put on 277 runs losing only 4 wickets in their allotted 50 over’s. The bowling cards didn’t glance impressive with every bowlers getting smacked. Sandeep was the most economical bowler with figure of 10-0-39-1.
Nepal was chasing their highest target of the tournament and their batsman needed to respond positively to have any sort of chance to reach it. Medium pacer, Rohan Mustafa gave the first breakthrough for UAE dismissing Dilip Nath, who made 13 runs with 2 boundaries. Amir Hayat followed the suit by causing second blow to Nepal when Gyanendra malla (24) was caught by Ashfaq Ahmed.
Dipendra Singh Airee and Paras Khadka however turned the poor situation into decent one by strucking 73 runs between them for third wicket. After Airee (35) was dismissed by Imran Haider, it was Sharad Vesawkar and Paras Khadka’s turn to prepare a partnership of 63 runs. Nevertheless after the dismissal of Vesawkars (30), runs didn’t come to the required rate and it kept creeping up high. Nepal needed 95 runs from the last 60 balls with 6 wickets in hand. Despite Khadka’s late blitz in route to his century, Nepal fell short by 7 runs. Khadka made 112 runs off 103 balls with 3 fours and 8 huge sixes and carried his bat.
UAE’s bowling chart was led by Amir Hayat who seized 4 wickets yielding only 35 runs. Imran Haider took 2 wickets while Rohan Mustafa and Ahmed Raza snatched a wicket each.
Ashfaq Ahmed was declared the player of the final while Sandeep Lamichanne, who picked up 17 wickets in the tournament, was adjudged the player of the tournament.
After this loss, Nepal is placed in group B of ICC World cup Qualifiers scheduled to start in Zimbabwe from March 4. Group B constitutes of the heavyweights like Afghanistan and Zimbabwe. The remaining two teams are Scotland and near rivals Hong Kong. The Group A of the tournament includes West Indies, Ireland, Netherlands, Papua New Guinea and United Arab Emirates.