Kathmandu, November 2
Nepal suffered a narrow defeat to Oman in the final group game of the T20 World Cup Asia Qualifier at the TU Cricket Ground on Thursday.
This loss by 5 runs means Nepal have finished second in the group and will have to play their semi-final at the Mulpani Cricket Cricket Ground on Friday.
Having asked Oman to bat first, Nepal got off to a strong start, quickly reducing them to 48 for four. The Nepali bowlers continued to take wickets, putting pressure on the Oman batters. However, a burst of performance from Zeeshan Maqsood, Naseem Khushi, and Shakeel Ahmed propelled Oman to a respectable score of 145 in the allotted 20 overs.
Karan KC, despite being expensive, managed to secure three wickets, while Sompal Kami and Sandeep Lamichhane claimed two wickets each. Gulshan Jha and Abinash Bohara contributed with a wicket each.
Nepal’s batting performance did not commence on a positive note. Bilal Khan dismissed Aasif Sheikh early on, leading to a series of wickets. Nepal struggled against Oman’s spinners, preventing them from gaining momentum towards the target.
Mehran Khan was superb with the bowl along with Aqib Ilyas and Shakeel Ahmed. All three picked up two wickets each to bowl Nepal out for 140. The score flatters Nepal who were on the back foot for the entire game but only lost by 5 runs thanks to some late hitting by Bibek Yadav who nearly won Nepal the game in the last over.
Following this defeat, Nepal is set to face the in-form UAE in the semi-finals of the qualifier at Mulpani. To secure a spot in the T20 World Cup, Nepal must beat UAE on Friday.