Nepal scripted history on Tuesday as it secured the Asia Cup 2023 spot after beating UAE by seven wickets in the ACC Premier Cup final here at Tribhuvan University ground in Kathmandu.
After a win over UAE, Nepal will take the last spot in Group A, alongside India and Pakistan, with the Asia Cup slated to take place in September.
The top three finishes of Nepal, UAE, and Oman at the Premier Cup mean they will also feature in the ACC Emerging Teams Asia Cup in July, where they will take on ‘A’ Teams of five Full Members in the region.
Batting first, UAE managed to post 117 on the board as Asif Khan was the top scorer for the side with his 46 off 54 balls including seven boundaries and a maximum.
For Nepal, Lalit Rajbanshi was the pick of the bowlers, finishing with figures 4/14 in while leggie Sandeep Lamichhane claimed 2/34 at the other end.
In reply, Gulshan Jha’s promotion to No.3 in the batting order proved a masterstroke as the 17-year-old smashed an unbeaten 67 and stitched a 96-run partnership with Bhim Sharki (36) and helped his side to chase down the target in just 30 overs, ensuring Nepal’s qualification for the Asia Cup 2023.
For UAE, Rohan Mustafa was the most economical bowler with figures of 2/13.