UAE captain Mohammed Naveed pays tribute to supporters after thrilling win over Nepal

Home side prevail in first one-day international win in Dubai with nervy batting display coming after they had excelled with the ball

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Mohammed Naveed said his side had been inspired by the raucous atmosphere created by hundreds of Nepal supporters, after leading UAE to victory on his first day as captain of the national team.

UAE took a 1-0 lead in the three-match Anib Challenge Series against Nepal, after claiming a nervy three-wicket win at the ICC Academy on Friday.

They were indebted to an unbroken stand worth 43 for the eight wicket by Amir Hayat and Imran Haider, as they made hard work of chasing 114 to win.

Hayat and Haider had been outstanding with the ball earlier, too. Fast-bowler Hayat took three wickets, while Haider took two with his leg-spin, as the tourists were fired out for 113 in 33.5 overs.

Bayed on by a boisterous support, Nepal battled to save the game, and reduced their hosts to 73 for seven, before the decisive partnership.

Naveed acknowledged that the hosts had felt like the away side, suggesting most people had come to see Sandeep Lamichanne, the leg-spin star of Nepal who took two for 34. But he said they had raised their game in response to the atmosphere.

“We like it, too, when the crowd is coming, and we want to perform well,” said Naveed, who is also well known in Nepal having played franchise cricket there in the recent past. “It makes everybody happy.”

Naveed was proud of the way his side had performed, as he took the captaincy reins from Rohan Mustafa, who is one of three players currently serving an eight-week suspension for breaching the UAE team’s code of conduct.

“I didn’t feel pressure, because we knew the pitch was well suited for fast bowlers and we were well prepared to play on this wicket,” said Naveed, who himself took three wickets.

“The Nepal team are very good players of spin. We have sharp bowlers, and with thought we could have success with short balls.

“It is a part of the game, having six or seven out early, and we were not nervous. I was No 10 and Qadeer [Ahmed] was No 11, proper batsmen, so we weren’t worried. Of course, there is a responsibility on the batsmen. One-hundred and 14 is very low score.”

Nepal will bid to level the series when the sides return to the ICC Academy on Saturday, and Paras Khadka, the captain, is hopeful they will raise their game.

“The pitch wasn’t the easiest, like a green top where both teams really struggled,” Khadka said.

“When we had them 80 for seven, the game was in our hands, but the last partnership put on a good show.

“We could have batted better, for sure, but having said that, it wasn’t the easiest of wickets. It was a tight game, but they managed to squeeze through.”