United Arab Emirates defeat Nepal at Stormont
The United Arab Emirates coasted to a 20-run DLS victory over Nepal in the first of today's warm-up matches at Stormont.
The Nepalese had won the toss and, perhaps oddly, given the overnight rain and the damp conditions, chose to bat first. A deluge just before the scheduled start of play then reduced the match to 18 overs and made that decision look even more foolhardy.
That much was proved as the UAE bowlers tore through the Nepalese top order, reducing them to 13-3 in the fifth over. Left-arm seamer Manjula Guruge was particularly impressive, bringing the ball back into the right-handers and forcing both Sagar Pun and Paras Shadkhal to play onto their stumps.
Sharad Vesawkar offered Nepal's only real resistance. He made an unbeaten 38 from 37 balls that included the only six - a magnificent lofted drive - of the innings, but few of his teammates made an impression as the Emiratis took regular wickets while stifling the run rate.
Amjad Javed took the key wicket of Gyanendra Malla with the best ball of the innings, a lifting and seaming delivery that took the outside edge, while Mohammad Shahzad (2-12) and Mohammad Naveed (1-10 off four overs) both purveyed the kind of medium-pace that was suited perfectly to the conditions.
The Nepalese finished their 18 overs on 84-7 having struck only five boundaries and Vesawkar's six.
In response the UAE set off like a train: Faizan Asif went hard at the ball and was rewarded with a quick-fire 24 off 21 deliveries before he was caught behind off the bowling of Mukhiya.
From here the Nepalese spinners brought a degree of control to proceedings, restricting Amjad Ali (23 off 30 balls) and Mohammad Shahzad (13 off 21) mostly to singles and well placed twos.
Shahzad then yorked himself when charging Sagar Pun, but this brought to the crease Umair Ali (16* off 12), who, batting at four, twice launched the spinners twice into the trees as the UAE closed in on their target.
Yet with only four more runs needed for victory, the heavens opened and so the result was decided by DLS: the par score after fourteen overs was 61 and the UAE were declared winners by 20 runs.