Mustafa, Shabber fifties guide UAE to win
United Arab Emirates rode on fifties from Rohan Mustafa and Ghulam Shabber to register a seven-wicket victory over Nepal in the ICC World Cricket League Championship match at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday (December 6).
Chasing 222 for a win, UAE was off to a brisk start with Mustafa, the skipper, setting the tone with a stroke-filled 62 off 71 balls. He added 42 runs for the opening wicket with Ashfaq Ahmed (19), before he found an ally in Shabber, the wicketkeeper-batsman, to put on 81 for the second wicket.
Shabber himself composed a patient 81 not out off 116 deliveries, getting together with Rameez Shahzad (37 off 47 balls) for another handy partnership of 67 for the third wicket.
He stuck around till the end, with Mohammed Usman (17 n.o.) for company, as UAE reached the target in 45.5 overs.
Earlier, put in, Nepal rode on half-centuries from Gyanendra Malla and Sharad Vesawkar to post 221 for 6.
Malla (54 off 83 balls) and Dilip Nath (16), the openers, got Nepal off to a decent start, but it was Vesawkar at No.3 who did the bulk of the scoring later on. He compiled a unbeaten 81 off 95 deliveries, which included five boundaries.
Just as Vesawkar was building a partnership with Paras Khadka (20), the Nepal skipper, Zahoor Khan, the medium-pacer, had Khadka caught by Ahmed Raza.
That triggered a mini collapse as Nepal went from 122 for 3 to 134 for 5.
Sompal Kami, the medium-pacer, then scored a run-a-ball 20 and added 47 runs for the seventh wicket with Veswakar.
For UAE, Zahoor finished with 2 for 48, while Raza, the left-arm spinner, was the most economical, giving away just 23 runs from his ten overs.
The victory meant UAE now has eight points from 13 games and is seventh on the points table, while Nepal is sixth with nine points.