A match-winning innings from Nepal skipper DS Airee ensured Nepal started the Quadrangular series in style with victory over hosts Oman in Muscat.

The fixture was the only game of the day, as the scheduled tournament opener between Ireland and UAE was postponed due to ‘logistical issues’ – the Irish luggage stranded in Dubai.

With Nepal winning the toss and electing to bowl, openers Jatinder Singh and Kashyap Prajapati were put into bat for Oman.

However, it didn’t take long for Nepal’s choice to field first look like a good decision picking up both openers in the first four overs.

Pajapati was the first man to be removed when he was bowled for just 11 despite a positive start hitting two boundaries but it was Abinash Bohara who got the last laugh.

Singh was then caught behind for 13; this was a family affair as the Nepal wicket keeper Aasif Sheikh took the catch off the bowling of seamer and older brother Aarif.

At the end of the powerplay Oman were in a less than ideal position at 42-3 after the wicket of Ayaan Khan with another simple catch to wicket keeper Sheikh off the bowling of Kamal Airee.

Sandeep Lamichhane, (1-17) fresh off his time at the Big Bash, got in on the act when Shoaib Khan went for 11 and yet another catch for Sheikh behind the stumps.

The Oman batting line up struggled throughout to build any substantial partnership, this was the case until Zeeshan Maqsood (43 off 41 deliveries), and Mohammed Nadeem (31 off 30) put on 61 before the wicket of the Nadeem after some clever bowling from Bohara (3-26 from 4 overs), who was the pick of the Nepal bowlers.

Oman managed to scrape to 135 off their 20 overs much to the brilliance of Maqsood.

Pradeep Airee and Aasif Sheikh walked out to bat for Nepal looking to get the Quadrangular series off to a good start.

Sheikh was the first man to go for 14 falling victim to some good bowling from Kaleemullah. However, this wasn’t the only damage done in the 4th over when Pradeep Airee was also dismissed for an odd innings of 4 off 14 deliveries edging one to the wicket keeper.

At the end of the powerplay Nepal were at 33-2 after losing two quick wickets.

After confusion led to a run out, the 4th wicket stand of 45 between Aarif Sheikh and Dipendra Singh Airee kept Nepal in the chase.

A captain’s innings from Dipendra Singh Airee of 73 runs from 53 deliveries, hitting seven fours and one six saw Nepal home to an unlikely victory when at one point the required run rate peaked 12 runs per over.

Needing nine off the last over, Airee held his nerve, finding the boundary from the first delivery, running well for a two off the second, before securing the six wicket win with another boundary from the third ball.

The series continues on Saturday when Nepal play UAE, while Ireland – hopefully reunited with their gear – play Oman in the other game. The postponed match between Ireland and UAE will now take place on Sunday (6am).


At Al Amerat Stadium, Muscat

Nepal 137-4 beat Oman 135-6 by 6 wickets