In a thrilling display of cricket, Nepal's opener Kushal Bhurtel showcased an all-round performance that led his team to a triumphant victory against the United Arab Emirates (UAE) 'A' team in the ACC Men’s Emerging Teams Asia Cup. The match, held at the P Sara Oval in Colombo, saw Bhurtel's exceptional skills both as a part-time spinner and a batsman, contributing significantly to Nepal's win.
Bhurtel's Career-Best Bowling Performance
Bhurtel, a part-time spinner, delivered a career-best performance by taking six wickets, helping Nepal bowl out the UAE 'A' team, who had chosen to bat first, for a mere total of 157. His sensational bowling performance saw him concede only 40 runs in his 10-over spell. Mousom Dhakal, who was making his list 'A' debut, also contributed to the team's bowling success by taking two wickets in his nine-over spell, giving away 44 runs.
Bhurtel's Quickfire Batting
Following his impressive bowling performance, Bhurtel switched gears to batting, slamming a quickfire 71 runs off just 43 balls, helping Nepal reach a total of 159-7 in 23 overs. Despite losing opener Arjun Saud for a golden duck, Bhurtel's aggressive batting, which included nine hits to the fence and four sixes, kept the momentum in Nepal's favor. His partnership with Dev Khanal for the second wicket added a substantial 98 runs to the board.
Contributions from Other Players
While Bhurtel was undoubtedly the star of the match, other players also made significant contributions to Nepal's victory. Dev Khanal and Sundeep Jora each added 24 runs to the total, with Khanal hitting four boundaries in his 38-ball knock and Jora smashing a boundary and two sixes in just 15 deliveries. Gulsan Jha also reached double digits, scoring 11 runs off 18 balls.
The Final Overs
In the final overs, Pratish GC, who remained unbeaten on 8 runs, sealed the victory for Nepal in style, scoring two back-to-back boundaries, including the winning shot, off just three balls.
UAE's Bowling Performance
On the UAE side, Mohammed Faraazuddin was the most successful bowler, taking five wickets in his six-over spell while conceding 36 runs, including a maiden over. Muhammad Jawadullah also contributed by taking two wickets, although he conceded 40 runs in his six-over spell.
Despite both Nepal and UAE 'A' having already been eliminated from the semi-final race before this match, the game was anything but a dead rubber. Bhurtel's all-round performance, coupled with contributions from other players, ensured a thrilling match that ended in a well-deserved victory for Nepal. This match not only showcased the talent and potential of emerging players but also served as a testament to the exciting and unpredictable nature of cricket.