UAE v Nepal, Intercontinental Cup, Sharjah, 3rd day March 27, 2004

Nepal hold out for the draw against UAE

UAE 293 for 9 dec and 253 for 6 dec (Fahad Usman 102*) drew with Nepal 213 (Asad 9-74) and 141 for 5 (Asad 4-52)

Ali Asad: 13 wickets in the match © ICC
Nepal held out for a draw in the opening fixture of the Intercontinental Cup at Sharjah, despite a fine unbeaten hundred from Fahad Usman, which had set UAE on course for victory. Fahad's efforts left Nepal chasing a nominal target of 334 in a minimum of 69 overs, but they closed on 141 for 5, thanks to a battling half-century from Sharad Vesawkar and 49 from Prasad Lohani.

Fahad's maiden first-class century was a responsible knock, which had begun in inauspicious circumstances as UAE slumped to 87 for 4 in their second innings. But he weathered the early storm and added 89 for the sixth wicket with Mohammad Tauqir, who was eventually caught by Lohani for 31, to give the part-time legspinner Raju Basnyat his maiden first-class wicket.

UAE declared on 253 for 6 and, though it was a tough ask to bowl Nepal out in just over two sessions, in Ali Asad UAE had the strike bowler to make the difference. Asad had taken a magnificent 9 for 74 in Nepal's first innings, and was on target second time around as well, grabbing four more wickets in 20 incisive overs to put UAE in command.

They eventually ran out of time, but not before Asad and Asim Saeed had burst through the top order with three early wickets. Lohani and Vesawkar steadied the ship with a gritty 40-run partnership, before Asad grabbed two more wickets in the space of eight runs to cause one or two further jitters, but Vesawkar was on hand to steer Nepal to the draw.

UAE's overall dominance was recognised by the fact that they were awarded 18 bonus points, compared with Nepal's 14. The next fixture in the Asian group will be Nepal's home tie against Malaysia, in Kathmandu from April 23.