In a stunning display of cricketing prowess, Nepal has secured a place in the Asia Cup 2023 by defeating the United Arab Emirates by seven wickets in the final of the ACC Men’s Premier Cup held in Kathmandu on Tuesday.
The hero of the match was undoubtedly Gulshan Jha, who cracked a half-century to help Nepal chase down the target of 118 runs set by the visitors in just 30.3 overs, losing only three wickets.
With this victory, Nepal has earned a spot in the Asia Cup final alongside cricketing giants India and Pakistan, which is scheduled to take place in Pakistan in September. The Asia Cup will feature six teams, with Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan in the other group.
Gulshan Jha guided Nepal to victory
Jha’s unbeaten 67 off 84 balls was a masterful display of skill and patience, as he guided Nepal to victory after the hosts lost three quick wickets.
Earlier in the match, Nepal’s Lalit Rajbanshi had taken the crucial wicket of Junaid Siddique as the match resumed on the reserve day following a downpour on Monday.
Rajbanshi was in top form, completing a four-wicket haul and giving away just 14 runs in his 7.1-over spell, which included two maiden overs.
The UAE had been struggling at 106-9 after 27.3 overs before heavy rains forced the match referee to call off the game on the previous day.
When the UAE was sent in to bat first, a drizzle had just started, making conditions challenging for the team. The UAE struggled with the bat, losing wickets at regular intervals, and could not put up a sizeable total on the board.
Overall, Nepal’s victory was a testament to their grit and determination, and they will undoubtedly be looking to make their mark on the Asia Cup later this year.
Bowlers proved to be the driving force
The Nepali bowlers proved to be the driving force behind the team’s victory against the UAE in the ACC Men’s Premier Cup final. They exerted pressure from the very beginning, taking wickets at regular intervals to keep the opposition on the back foot.
Leg spinner Sandeep Lamichhane and medium pacer Karan KC were the stars with the ball, taking two wickets each.
UAE’s Asif Khan was the top scorer of the team, contributing 46 runs off 54 balls, hitting seven boundaries and a six.
KC gave away 26 runs in his seven overs, bowling a maiden, while Lamichhane conceded 34 runs in his 10 overs while also bowling two maiden overs. The Nepali bowlers were relentless, applying constant pressure on the UAE batters and restricting them to a modest total.
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