The UAE lost the opening match of the six-team Asia Cricket Council Premier League by four wickets as Nepal comfortable chased down 192 with some ten overs to spare.
Taking place in Kuala Lumpur, UAE coach Aaqib Javed had hoped the tournament would provide his young players with an opportunity to impress ahead of the 2015 World Cup.
The former Pakistan bowler has picked five debutants in the 14-man squad in Abdul Haq, Noor Al Amin, Mohammed Shahzad, leg-spinner Irfan Sajid and all-rounder Krishnachandran Karate.
Three of these youngsters would be in the XI for the UAE, with Karate the stand out performer as he contributed 36 with the bat, took one wicket from his five overs and showed his skills in the field by helping run out Nepal batsman Shared Vasawkar.
Unfortunately his contribution could not help the UAE side start with a win as a below-par score of 191 was nothing going to be enough. After losing captain Khurram Khan (0) and opener Amjad Al (7) in the first four overs, the UAE were always facing an uphill struggle.
Swapnil Patil did give Javed’s side some hope as he fired 76 from 95 balls before being run out by Subash Khakurel to leave the score at 153-5.
There were contributions down the order from Karate and Mohammad Shahzad but some impressive bowling from Sompal Kami (3-39), Mahaboob Alam (3-21) and Shakti Gauchan (2-31) meant that Nepal were well in control.
Opener Khakurel would get Nepal off to the perfect start as he made 71 from 91 deliveries, while he was ably assisted by both Gyanendra Malla (47) and Paras Khadka (30).
There was some success for the UAE bowlers as Fayyaz Ahmed claimed 2-49 from his 9.5 overs, while Mohammed Naveed was economical as he returned 1-20 from his six overs.
The UAE continued to take wickets at rucial times but it was clear they did not have enough runs on the board and with some 10.1 overs remaining, Nepal would secure an emphatic victory.
Javed’s side will next be in action on Friday 2 May when they face Afghanistan, who like the UAE have earned one-day international status.
With cricket booming across the UAE, Sport360° decided to sit down each week with one local cricketer to discover why they love the sport so much.
This week we speak to veteran all-rounder Qazi Ayub who represents UBL.
Name: Qazi Ayub
Born: Lahore, Pakistan
Best cricket match watched: Watching Pakistan beat England in the 1992 World Cup. There were not many opportunities to watch cricket on television in those days and it was something to cherish.
First cricket match you saw: Watching Pakistan in my early school days in 1987 – I can’t remember the opposition.
Favourite format of the game to watch: ODIs Favourite player growing up: Haroon Rasheed (Pakistan).
First piece of cricket equipment you bought or were given: A cricket bat during my school days.
One stadium you would like to play: Lord’s. I have visited it as a spectator but I want to put my feet on the turf.
Best player at the moment: AB de Villiers because any role you give him he can adjust to. Virat Kohli isn’t too far behind – definitely a batsman to watch.
Your favourite television sporting moment: I don’t really have one as I watch many sports, so it’s difficult to describe some moments.
Favourite meal: I don’t have a specific favourite dish.
Favourite places to visit in the UAE: The Abu Dhabi Corniche, because it’s beautiful and I have seen how it has transformed since arrving here in the 1980s.
GEMS Modern Academy (GMA) Girls’ Under-17 side defended the Maxtalent Global Sports Vision Cup with a thrilling 11-run victory over Winchester School in Sharjah.
Bonfilia Pereira who helped GMA post 90-6, took 4-12 as Winchester only managed 79-6 in the 15-over format competition sanctioned by Sharjah Cricket Council.
Winchester School were in top form as they picked up the wickets of Jayati Sarkar (8) and Pereira (11) early in the innings.
Winchester’s Namitha Dsouza troubled the GMA batting and finished with 2-16. Shreya Shreeram powered 13 off 16 balls late in the innings to help put up a defendable total for GMA.
In reply, openers Sanchita Shekar and Tanvi Doddihal gave Winchester the ideal start with no wickets down in the first 10 overs. But Pereira broke the partnership, dismissing Doddihal (13) and later saw Nikita Goveas depart (4).
Wickets fell regularly, and despite Shekhar’s 19 of 28 balls, Pereira helped GMA wrap up the win.
Sudhakar Shetty, managing director of Maxtalent Global Sports, said: “It makes us proud that Maxtalent Global Sports is creating the heroes of tomorrow. And with the UAE national team benefitting from us, it motivates us to continue working hard.”