Nepal’s young guns continued to set new records with Sundeep Jora joining Rohit Paudel and Sompal Kami in the list during their ongoing tour of the UAE. But while Paudel and Kami’s efforts saw Nepal win during the ODI segment, Jora’s came in a losing cause in the first T20 International.
The middle-order batsman whipped up an unbeaten half-century on debut to become the youngest to score a T20 International 50 but it wasn’t enough to strike out UAE’s total 153.
Prolific run-getter Shaiman Anwar’s half-century as well as two wickets each for medium pacers Mohammad Naveed, Zahoor Khan and left-arm spinner Sultan Ahmed saw the UAE win by 21 runs at the ICC Cricket Academy on Thursday.
It meant that the UAE took a 1-0 lead in the three-match ANIB Challenge Series.
Jora had tried to make a fist of the chase after his captain Paras Khadka had helped the visitors recover after his opening partner was dismissed off the first ball.
Jora, who , at 17 years and 103 days entered the history books for his outstanding effort, mustered a 46-ball 53 with three boundaries and a six, couldn’t prevent the hosts from achieving the win.
Earlier, in the second ODI, Paudel, at 16 years and 146 days, had become the youngest male player to score an international half-century, and in the same game, Kami had taken a fifer to become the first Nepal player to do so.
Returning to this fixture, Khadka inserted the opposition in and the UAE went about setting a score of 153 for six in their allotment.
After opener Chundangapoyil Rizwan made a 19-ball 22 with four boundaries, Anwar went on to score his fifth half-century in the format, a 38-ball 59, studded with five boundaries and two sixes.
Southpaw Muhammad Usman made 30 from 24 deliveries with a boundary and two sixes, while Sultan Ahmed swelled the UAE’s total with 20 from 15 balls with a boundary a six.
Nepal’s rising star, the 18-year-old Sandeep Lamichhane picked two for 25 with his leg spin, while veteran left-arm spinner Basat Regmi took two for 23.
The second T20 International will be played on Friday.