Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 July 2019

UAE U19 team beat Nepal by one run in World Cup Qualifier with help from Duckworth Lewis Stern method

Aryan Lakra's boys take one step closer to ultimate prize after coming out on right side of DLS method in Kuala Lumpur

Karthik Meiyappan was among the UAE bowlers to take a wicket against Nepal. Satish Kumar For The National 
Karthik Meiyappan was among the UAE bowlers to take a wicket against Nepal. Satish Kumar For The National 

UAE cricket has suffered its fair share of weather-induced heartache over the past year.

But the country’s leading teenage cricketers took a step closer to the ultimate prize after coming out on the right side of the Duckworth Lewis Stern method on Saturday.

The national team beat a formidable Nepal side by one run in a rain-affected fixture at the Under 19 World Cup Qualifier in Kuala Lumpur.

It was a second win for the UAE in two days at the start of the six-team competition, which carries the prize of a place in the global event in South Africa next year.

It was achieved by the slenderest of margins, after rain washed out the match with the UAE on 122-3 off 30 overs.

That was the exact amount required by the DLS revision, after Nepal had posted 247 from their full quota of 50 overs.

DLS has basically become a taboo subject in Emirates cricket in recent times. First, the senior national team were deprived a place in their home Asia Cup last September after losing a rain-affected match to Hong Kong – coincidentally, on the same ground as the Under 19 side were victorious against Nepal.

Later in the year, they lost out on a place in the semi-finals of the Emerging Teams Asia Cup in Pakistan because of inclement weather.

And, as recently as Friday, they were beaten in a rain-affected one-day international in Zimbabwe.

At least their age-group colleagues fared better. Aryan Lakra, the UAE captain, said his decision to bowl first upon winning the toss against Nepal was strongly dictated by the weather forecast and the prospect of DLS being invoked.

“It was crucial toss to win and a good decision to bowl first,” said Lakra, who took a miserly 1-17 from his 10 overs of left-arm spin. “We had a look at the weather forecast last night, and for the past couple of days it had been predicted rain during our game against Nepal.

“It was good we won the toss, because we felt the DLS method was going to play a crucial role in the second innings. That is exactly what happened.”

The UAE still have three more matches to play, against Kuwait, Singapore and Oman, but they know they have passed a significant test in beating Nepal.

Nepal’s XI in Malaysia included four players – Rohit Paudel, Sundeep Jora, Pawan Sarraf, and Bhim Sharki – who were part of the squad that beat the UAE senior team in an ODI series in Dubai earlier this year.

“I’m certainly not saying there are not any other important games in the tournament, but Nepal are definitely one of the better teams,” Lakra said.

“Winning against them gives us a great boost for the coming three matches. I think the boys are really happy. We have a day off, and want to relax and take our minds off the game.

“Then we get back for three more games, then hopefully we can win those and travel to South Africa next year.”

Updated: April 13, 2019 07:00 PM

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