Kathmandu/Cricnepal: Nepal and U.A.E. shared the ACC Trophy Elite title after the final match at Sharjah Cricket Stadium ended in a tie on Friday.
To see the scorecard click here.
Last over SIX from Shakti Gauchan rescued Nepal and made them the joint winners. In an exciting match, Nepal chasing the target of 242 runs was restricted to 241 for 9 with the match ending as a tie. After winning the toss, Nepal went to field first and had a good start but with the solid partnership between Khurram Khan and Shaqib Ali, U.A.E posted a challenging total of 241 runs loosing 6 wickets in allotted 50 overs.
UAE lost 3 wickets cheaply in just 6.4 overs for 24 runs. Haroon Iftikhar(24) then shared a 46 runs partnership with Khurram Khan but was later caught leaving themselves to 70/4. Khan and Shaqib Ali then build innings for U.A.E with a 87 runs partnership. Khan scored 61 runs off 79 balls hitting 5 fours before falling prey to Shakti Gauchan in 39th over.
Holding UAE’s inning, Ali completed his century in the last ball of the innings remaining unbeaten at 101 runs off 103 deliveries with 8 fours and 2 sixes. He also shared an unbeaten partnership of 61 runs with Rohan Mustafa. Abdul Shakoor (20) and Mustafa (21*) were some other major contributors for UAE.
Shakti Gauchan picked up three wickets while Sanjam Regmi took one for Nepal.
Following a target of 242 runs, Nepal managed to score 241 in 50 overs losing nine wickets. Openers Subash Khakurel and Anil Mandal gave Nepal a good start but the regular wickets in the middle made Nepal to struggle in the match which was once looking to be an easy chase.
Mandal was sent to the pavilion in 22nd over for 44 runs while Khakurel joined Mandal in 25th over for 55 runs. Khakurel played 74 balls and hit 2 fours and equal sixes while Mandal faced 67 balls and hit 2 fours and a six. Khakurel and Mandal shared a partnership of 94 runs for first wicket.
Gyanendra Malla and Paras Khadka then put a 59 runs partnership to lift the team score to 165/3. Khadka and Malla both felt prey to UAE’s most successful bowler Ahmed Raza for 32 and 31 runs respectively off the same over. Malla hit 3 fours in his 41 ball-32 while Khadka stuck a six in his 37 balls innings.
Nepal lost Pradeep Airee(16), Prithu Baskota, Basanta Regmi, Binod Bhandari quickly as the match went to an struggling point of 222/8 in 47.1 over needing 20 runs to win from 17 balls. Sharad Vesawkar, the hope was at the crease with 34 runs. The 47th over ended with 2 runs needing 18 runs to win from 12 balls. The penultimate over from Arshad Ali finished with six runs.
Shakti Gauchan was on strike in the exciting, thriller last over. First ball went for a DOT, 2nd and 3rd ball went for only SINGLEs, thus Nepal needed 10 runs to win from three balls but it was made possible by Gauchan as he hit the 4th ball for a SIX to the long on. 4 required of 2 balls, Gauchan run for 2 in 5th ball. The match was not over yet, with Nepal needing 2 runs to win from the last ball. Gauchan hit the last ball to long off and run for 2, but was able to complete only one and thus match ended in a tie with the fall of Gauchan’s wicket.
It was all Gauchan and Vesawkar who brought the game towards Nepal. Vesawkar remained unbeaten at 38 runs off 36 balls with a four and 2 sixes.
Nepal had entered the field without their main pacers Amrit Bhattarai and Binod Das as both were struggling with injuries. Nepal had entered the final of the ACC Trophy Elite back in 2002 and 2010. While, this is their first Elite Trophy.
Paras Khadka was awarded the player of the series for his outstanding performance with both bat and ball. Shakti Gauchan also finished as the leading wicket taker of the tournament. Khadka scored 292 runs throughout the tournament with an average of 72.75 and also claimed 9 wickets. Gauchan equaled 15 wickets with Anwar Rahman of Malaysia to finish as the leading wicket taker with the economy rate of 3.18.
Nepal and UAE tied the final of the ACC Elite Trophy in Sharjah. Afghanistan came third in the competition #cricket
— ICC (@cricketicc) October 12, 2012