The United Arab Emirates have won the first of three Twenty20 Internationals against Nepal after a 21 run win today at the ICC Academy in Dubai.
Nepal captain Paras Khadka won the toss and chose to put the hosts into bat. Opener Ashfaq Ahmed was dismissed cheaply in the second over, becoming the first T20I wicket for Sandeep Lamichhane. Ghulam Shabber followed him three overs later, also dismissed in single figures, with the home team on 19-2.
This brought Shaiman Anwar to the crease, and the scoring rate began to pick up with the next 13 balls producing 24 runs before Chundangapoyil Rizwan was dismissed for 22. Anwar continued his big hitting, reaching 59 from 38 balls before he was bowled by Abinash Bohara in the 17th over.
The score at that point was 134-5, and just 19 came from the last three overs for the UAE to finish their 20 overs on 153-6.
Nepal's chase started in the worst possible fashion when Pradeep Airee was caught behind from the first ball, and whilst there were cameos from three batsmen, the visitors struggled to put together a partnership of any real substance. The 17 year old debutant Sundeep Jora was their top scorer with an unbeaten 53, becoming the youngest player to score a T20I fifty.
Nepal were kept to 132-7 from their 20 overs, losing by 21 runs. The sides will meet again at the same venue on Saturday.
United Arab Emirates beat Nepal by 21 runs
ICC Academy, Dubai, 31 January
United Arab Emirates 153-6 (20 overs, Shaiman Anwar 59)
Nepal 132-7 (20 overs, S Jora 53*)