ACC Men’s Premier Cup: Nepal cruise past the UAE and book a place in the Asia Cup

ACC Men's Premier Cup final
Bhim Sarki and Gulshan Jha take Nepal home as they beat the UAE by seven wickets to win the ACC Men’s Premier Cup final 2023, at TU Cricket Ground on May 2, 2023.

Kathmandu, May 2

Nepal beat the UAE by seven wickets and won the ACC Men’s Premier Cup held at the TU Cricket Ground on Tuesday.

The game, which was stopped due to rain on Monday, continued Tuesday with the UAE resuming batting at 106 for 9. Left-arm spinner Lalit Rajbanshi missed out on his hat trick, but the UAE batters only added 11 runs to last night’s total.

Nepal, on Monday, won the toss and chose to bowl first as they looked to take advantage of the overcast conditions. They reaped immediate rewards as they took important wickets of Mohammad Waseem and Vriitya Aravind cheaply as they reduced UAE to 35 for 4 by the 10th over.

Asif Khan, who had scored a century against Nepal when they played last, showed a fight during the ACC Men’s Premier Cup final as he put up a valiant 46, but with him getting out in the 28th over, the UAE were reduced to 106 for 9 as the umpires decided to end the day’s play taking the game to a reserve day. The UAE only managed 11 runs on Tuesday as they were bowled out for 117 runs.

Rajbanshi was the pick of the bowlers as he took four wickets while Sandeep Lamichhane and Karan KC picked up two wickets each and Sompal Kami and Gulshan Jha picked a wicket each putting Nepal in control of the match.

In reply, Nepal did not get off to a good start losing both openers and captain Rohit Paudel cheaply. But an impressive batting performance from Jha, who was moved up the order for his power hitting, took the ACC Men’s Premier Cup title out of the UAE’s reach as he scored an unbeaten 67 and put up a 96-run stand with Bhim Sarki, taking Nepal home with 117 balls to spare.

With this victory, Nepal have qualified for the Asia Cup. But there is news coming out that the Asia Cup might not take place as scheduled due to a dispute between the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

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