Fifties from Ansh Tandon and Fahad Nawaz go in vain in UAE's U-19 loss to Nepal

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Ansh Tandon scored 67 for the UAE on Tuesday

Captain Fahad Nawaz and Ansh Tandon struck half-centuries but it wasn’t enough for the UAE as they fell to a three-wicket loss to Nepal in the Under-19 Asia Cup.

The UAE were already eliminated from the tournament after losing to Afghanistan and India but put up a brave show with the bat at Savar, Bangladesh on Wednesday.

Batting first, the UAE put up their highest score of the tournament with 268-8 in their 50 overs with Nawaz (83) leading from the front. He was well supported by Tandon (67) as the duo put on 159 runs for the opening stand.

However, the rest of the UAE struggled with the bat with the next best scores coming from Brandon Adam and Wasi Shah with 18.

In their chase, Nepal did not get off to the best of starts with two wickets falling inside the first seven overs. However, Rohit Kumar’s 91 proved to be decisive as Nepal reached their target in the 49th over.

Aryan Lakra and Aaron Benjamin took two wickets for the UAE.

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Disappointing exit: UAE. Image: Facebook Asian Cricket Council

The UAE will have nothing but pride to play for when they face Nepal after suffering a defeat to India in the Under-19 Asia Cup on Sunday.

The Associate side went into the game knowing defeat was no option if they looked to keep their hopes alive following their five-wicket loss to Afghanistan on Saturday.

In Bangladesh, the UAE were up against it when the Indians put on an imposing total of 354-6 in their 50 overs. Devdutt Padikkal top-scored with 121 as he and Anuj Rawat (102) hit triple figures.

Alishan Sharafu was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 2-46.

In reply, the UAE got off to a poor start with both openers Ansh Tandon and Ronak Panoly departing with the score reading 18-2. Ali Mirza, who came in at number three, top-scored with 41 while Jonathan Figy (24) and captain Fahad Nawaz (22) tried their best. But India remained in control as they bowled UAE out for 127.

The result means the UAE are out of the Asia Cup and play Nepal in their final group game on Tuesday in what is an inconsequential match.

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UAE's Mohammad Naveed can't wait to play in Afghanistan Premier League

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Raring to go: Mohammad Naveed

UAE pacer Mohammad Naveed has described his selection in the Afghanistan Premier League as one of his biggest achievements after being picked in Monday’s draft.

Naveed, 31, was drafted by Kandahar for the inaugural edition which will take place in Sharjah between October 5 and 21.

It will be his first major T20 tournament and Naveed is looking forward to testing himself against the elite next month.

“It is a big moment for me,” said Naveed. “It’s fantastic news because the Afghanistan Premier League is a very big league and has some of the world’s best players. I’m very excited and it’s a proud moment to be among the players who will be featuring in the tournament.”

Naveed was one of 18 players drafted in Dubai’s glittering draft ceremony and the UAE international will be sharing a dressing room with some of the world’s best players including former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum, Pakistan’s Wahab Riaz and English duo Sam Billings and Tymal Mills.

Naveed, who had been following the draft on social media, cannot wait to meet his new team-mates – especially McCullum.

“He’s (McCullum) one of the biggest names in world cricket who has scored so many runs at the highest level,” added Naveed. “He’s one of the batsmen I love to watch, while playing alongside Wahab Riaz is a dream for me. Being around these players will surely boost my game in becoming a better player.”

Despite a number of UAE internationals making themselves available for the draft, Naveed was the only one to be chosen and he expressed his disappointment that his other team-mates were overlooked.

“I’m a bit sad there won’t be other UAE players featuring because I feel we are all talented cricketers who can perform at the highest level,” he added. “I am more determined to give my best and make the UAE proud.”

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