After winning the toss and deciding to bowl first, Elmore Hutchinson and Adil Bhatti bowled well but without reward in the opening stanza. At 29 without loss after ten Nepal certainly hadn’t gotten away on the US, but the warning signs were there.
Cue Japen Patel. Skipper Khaleel brought Patel into the attack in the 11th over and he struck almost immediately, trapping the left handed Dilip Nath in front with one that swung in to him late. Then the youngster Anil Sah lasted just three deliveries, smearing a full swinging delivery into the hands of Nosthush Kenjige at point. 30 for 2 quickly became 40 for 5, as a double bowling change saw Roy Silva also chipping in with a couple of scalps.
USA captain Ibrahim Khaleel was really pleased with the way his bowlers responded to the helpful conditions, “… it was a green top, but our guys bowled in really good areas.”
Japen Patel was the star of the show for the US taking 4 for 8 off his 4.3 overs, whilst Basant Regmi was the top scorer for Nepal with 21 from the number 8 position. Unfortunately lingering illness meant Patel had to go off the field part way through his 5th over. Hopefully he can recover in time to be available for tomorrow’s match against Kenya.
The US began their chase early given that Nepal had been bowled out in quick time, and at 26 for 2 at lunch would have been a bit nervous having lost Sagar Patel and Nisarg Patel cheaply. However a hard hitting 44 from opener Syed Abdullah, and an equally destructive 25 not out from Roy Silva saw the US reach their target with more than half their overs remaining.
Good Morning USA! And what a beautiful sight this is to wake up to ?
Team USA ??have scored a stunning 5 wicket win over the 18th ranked side in the world, Nepal ??today in Abu Dhabi
— USA Cricket (@usacricket) December 1, 2017
Coach Pubudu Dassanayake was obviously thrilled with the performance, but is already switching his focus to the upcoming games. “Winning is always a habit,” he said. “It’s a great feeling to beat Nepal, and we want that feeling to continue.”