Dubai: Teenager Aayan Khan’s maiden One Day International five-wicket haul went in vain as UAE lost to Hong Kong by 67 runs through Duckworth-Lewis System in the ACC Premier Cup match in Nepal on Friday. Hong Kong opener Anshy Rath’s century proved crucial to the final outcome of the 50-over contest.
Electing to field, UAE were able to restrict Hong Kong to 263 for eight with Rath thwarting the UAE attack with a calculated knock on a wicket that had plenty of assistance for the spinners. In reply, UAE were 117 for six when rain brought an early end to the play with UAE losing by 67 runs.
“I am happy with my performance but feel sad as we lost the match. It was overall a good day for me, taking my first five-wicket haul in ODI and that to coming against a strong team is good news,” Aayan Khan told Gulf News from Nepal.
UAE were in a good spot at 104 for two with the experienced Rameez Shehzad and 21-year-old Aryan Lakra who is playing his 14th ODI, leading the chase with a 73-run partnership for the third wicket when the floodgates opened under dark skies. UAE lost four wickets in the space of 20 balls, including Shehzad, Asif Khan, Rohan Mustafa and Aayan Khan. The four wickets changed the equation in Hong Kong’s favour when rain stopped play with UAE at 117 for six.
“We had our usual start, but the conditions made it difficult for new batters to sight the ball well. After the four wickets, our par score in DLS went high,” Aayan added.
The Hong Kong opener and Kinchit Shah, who must be having some pleasant memories about UAE after proposing to his girlfriend during last year’s Asia Cup in Dubai, forged a crucial 67-run partnership for the third wicket when left-arm Aayan started getting into the act, dismissing the next five batters.
But Rath kept chipping away with small partnerships to ensure Hong Kong had something to defend before getting out for 106, a job done well. All-rounder Sanchit Sharma claimed two wickets while Junaid Siddique ended Rath’s 117-ball stay.
Confident of advancing
The UAE all-rounder, however, exuded confidence on clinching a spot in the semi-finals as they have two games against Bahrain and Singapore.
“We have two more games to go. We look forward to both those games as wins in those will give us a place in the semi-finals,” Aayan said.
Kushal Malla’s 108 and a quickfire half-century by Sompal Kami helped hosts Nepal beat Oman by 84 runs. Chasing a target of 311 in 50 overs, leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane struck three early blows to push Oman on the backfoot, from which they were not able to recover enough to overhaul the target.