Nepal bowlers failed to defend a below-par score on a batting track as UAE beat them comfortably by 7 wickets in the 1st match of the final round of ICC World Cricket League matches at Sheikh Zayed International Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
Batting first, Nepal managed to post 221/6 in their allotted 50 overs mainly due to an unbeaten knock by Sharad Vesawkar (81 n.o off 95). Sharad got good support at the top of the order from Gyanendra Malla (54 off 83) as the duo batted cautiously for sometime before Malla got out. Vesawkar did not get much support from the batsmen at the other end for a longer period of time as Paras Khadka (20), Arif Sheikh (0) and Binod Bhandari (4) got out cheaply in the middle overs to leave Nepal tottering at 134/5 in the 39th over.
Vesawkar forged important partnerships for the 6th (47 runs) and 7th wicket (40 runs) with Sompal Kami (20) and Basant Regmi (14 n.o) to take Nepal to their final score of 221.
Zahoor Khan picked up 2/48 with Mohammad Naveed, Ahmed Raza and Rohan Mustafa picking up a wicket apiece for UAE.
Half centuries from Rohan Mustafa (62 off 71) and Ghulam Shabber (81 n.o off 116) meant that UAE were never in any sorts of trouble in their chase as the duo put on 81 runs partnership for the 2nd wicket and after Mustafa got out, Rameez Shahzad (37 off 47) joined Shabber and took the team closer to their target before Rameez fell in the 38th over with UAE comfortably placed at 190/3.
There were no other mishaps as Muhammad Usman (17 n.o off 24) joined Shabber and finished the chase with UAE reaching 225/3 in 45.5 overs to win the contest by 7 wickets and 25 balls to spare. Sandeep Lamichhane and Sharad Vesawkar picked up a wicket apiece for Nepal.
Both teams will once again meet in the 2nd match of the final round of WCL matches on 8th December before a meeting again in Feb 2018 in Namibia in the WCL Division 2 tournament.