UAE edge closer to 2025 Asia Cup after snapping losing streak against Nepal

Sharafu’s unbeaten 55 ensured UAE would post a comfortable victory in the ACC Men’s T20 Premier Cup in Oman

By Team KT

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Alishan Sharafu was the match-winner. - Instagram
Alishan Sharafu was the match-winner. - Instagram

Published: Fri 19 Apr 2024, 6:10 PM

Last updated: Fri 19 Apr 2024, 6:13 PM

Alishan Sharafu hit an unbeaten 55 to help the UAE snap a three-match losing streak against nemesis Nepal in the ACC Men’s T20 Premier Cup semi-final in Muscat, Oman on Friday.

The 21-year-old batting allrounder from Kerala, India anchored the run chase as the UAE comfortably overhauled the target of 120 with six wickets in hand.

After winning the toss the UAE invited Nepal to bat first and their bowlers, led by Basil Hameed 2/4 (2) and Junaid Siddique 2/26 (4 overs), did well to restrict them to a total of 119 for nine in 20 overs. Sundeep Jora was the top scorer for Nepal with a 40-ball 50.

Sharafu 55 (41) and Vishnu Sukumaran 28 (28) kept the momentum going to see UAE home and through to the final of the tournament where they play the winner of the d semi-final between Oman and Hong Kong on Sunday at the same venue.

Rival ski8ppers Rohit Paudel and Muhammad Waseem. - Instagram
Rival ski8ppers Rohit Paudel and Muhammad Waseem. - Instagram

Coached by former Indian cricket Lalchand Rajput, who took charge of the side in February this year, the UAE are now within one match of qualifying for next year’s Asia Cup which is likely to be held in the UAE and Oman.

Friday’s win over Nepal was the first following defeats in the Asia Cup, the Under 19 World Cup, and the T20 World Cup.

UAE skipper Muhammad Waseem said that the team played to a plan and that the decision to bowl first helped restrict Nepal on a swinging surface.

“We came here with a plan, and we won the game,” he said. ” Early on, the ball was swinging a bit and in my mind, I thought if we restricted them to somewhere around 120-130., we would have a chance.

“The bowlers did a great job. Junaid has a lot of experience and I am very pleased with Omid, Basil, Aayan, Ali and [Mohammed] Farooq as well.”

Brief scores

ACC Men's Premier Cup

Nerpal: 119/9(20 Overs) Sundeep Jora 50 (40); Basil Hameed 2/4 (2) Junaid Siddique 2/26 (4) Gulsan Jha 20 (16)

UAE 123/4 (17.2 Overs) Alishan Sharafu 55* (41) Vishnu Sukumaran 28 (28) Gulsan Jha 2/21 (2.2)

U.A.E. won by 6 wickets (with 16 balls remaining)

Man of the Match: Alishan Sharafu

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