Nepal help Afghans to Super Six

Nepal help Afghans to Super Six

For Hong Kong, it was a simple formula in last match of the first round of the World Cup Qualifiers 2018: beat Nepal to go to Super Sixes and retain ODI status.

However, Nepal lost three quick wickets and teetering at 61-4 in 18th over. Both bowlers had four maiden overs each.

Aizaz Khan and Ehsan Khan grabbed two wickets apiece as Nepal stumbled to 66 for five in the 20th over but RK Paudel (48) and Sompal Kami (37) stayed together to take their side to victory. Aizaz then took a smart return catch to dismiss fellow opener Gyanendra Malla, leaving Nepal on 46/2.

The victor of this tie will play against the victor between Hong Kong and Netherlands for seventh place and last spot left to be grasped for ODI status. After Saturday's matches, Afghanistan has a net run-rate of +0.038, Hong Kong is on -1.26 and Nepal are -1.54.

Hong Kongs defeat also gave a lifeline to Afghanistan, who defeated Nepal by six wickets after Mohammad Nabi took four for 33 and then scored 34 in their last group match. However, Nepal will remain in the ICC World Cricket League Division I.

However, once again their batting let them down as they posted a total of 153 all out in 48.2 overs.

Nizakat Khan top scored with 47 runs off 84 balls with four fours and a maximum.

Skipper Babar Hayat and Nizakat Khan steered them to 53 for one before Hayat was caught and bowled by opening bowler Sompal Kami for a breezy 20 from 16 balls. KC returned with 2-35 from 8.2 overs.

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Earlier, Hong Kong's highest wicket taker, spinner Ehsan Khan, had his bowling action cleared by the ICC.

Hong Kong's innings never gained any momentum after Nepali bowlers kept on taking wickets at regular intervals.

Fast bowler Tim Murtagh was the pick of the Ireland bowlers with figures of 10-2-41-4, while Andy McBrine picked up two for 45.

Speedster Karan KC and Basanta Regmi bagged two wickets each while Sompal Kami and Lalit Rajbanshi chipped in with a wicket each.

A Hong Kong win will put them into the Super Six ahead of Afghanistan on points. Nepal still have hope of gaining ODI status depending in other today's fixtures.

By the virtue of advancing to the Super six stage of the event in Zimbabwe, Scotland and UAE have achieved ODI status. After the completion of qualifiers four teams will get the ODI status for the next four years.

This result means Mondays matches between the Netherlands and the West Indies, and Ireland and the United Arab Emirates will decide which two sides will join the two-time former world champions in the Super Six. For Afghanistan, who had just one victory against Nepal from four matches, it was even simpler: Nepal beat Hong and they are through. The winners will clash for the ultimate seventh spot finish.

The team finishing fourth in Group A will take on the bottom table team of other group and vice versa.

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