Khadka becomes Nepal’s first ODI centurion as they beat UAE

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Nepal 255 for 6 (Khadka 115, Haider 2-50) beat UAE (Anwar 87, Boota 59, Khadka 2-44) by four wickets

Paras Khadka drives for a run down the ground Peter Della Penna

Paras Khadka struck both his and Nepal’s maiden ODI century as he led the team to a memorable four-wicket victory over UAE in Dubai. His 115 off only 109 deliveries was key to overhauling a target of 255 with four wickets and 32 balls to spare.

Nepal were actually struggling in the chase at one point. From 81 for 1 in the 15th over, they slipped to 129 for 4 in the 26th as spinners Imran Haider and Ashfaq Ahmed took control in the middle overs. The series was tied at 1-1. The game was starting to drift away. A big innings was needed and as is often the case, the captain stood up.

Khadka batted through to the 39th over, acting as both the sticky-tape that held his team together, and also a source of rapid runs. He struck 15 fours and a six, ensuring that Nepal were never too far behind the asking rate. He finally fell with only 40 runs needed, which proved an easy ask for Sompal Kami and Aarif Sheikh as they raced to the target.

The fireworks at the end were in stark contrast to the start of the game, when UAE’s openers were dismissed for ducks even though they faced a combined 28 deliveries. Kami removed Ashfaq and KC Karan took out Chirag Suri as the score stuttered to 2 for 2 in the sixth over. It took some insane hitting by the middle order to get to a decent total, with Shaiman Anwar coming in at No. 6 and hammering 87 off 70 balls and Mohammad Boota scoring his maiden ODI fifty and a blistering one at that – 59 off only 31 balls. UAE were 47 for 5 in the 21st over but somehow they managed to get to 254 and would have had high hopes of defending it. But Khadka just wouldn’t give in. (ESPNCricinfo)

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