Published: Tue, March 13, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Nepal help Afghans to Super Six

Nepal help Afghans to Super Six

Hong Kong cricket team and Nepal cricket team are both in a do-or-die situation going into their final Group B match at the ICCWorld Cup qualifiers 2018 in Bulawayo on Monday.

Defending champions Scotland are the only side after three rounds to have secured a place in the Super Six after having won all their three matches so far.

Nizakat Khan was Hong Kong's best performer with the bat, scoring 47 while captain Babar Hayat hit 20 and Ehsan Khan 21.

Chasing a 154-run target, Nepal got off to a poor start and were reeling at 66-5 at one stage. But an outstanding unbroken stand of 89 for the sixth wicket between Rohit Paudel and Sompal Kami took Nepal home with 9.2 overs to spare.

However, Nepal lost three quick wickets and teetering at 61-4 in 18th over.

Sompal Kami brisk not our 37 runs of just 40 ball with five fours resurrected the fragile Nepali innings before combining for a match winning partnership with Paudel. Aizaz and Ehsan Khan took two wickets each for Hong Kong.

Nepal will take on Papua New Guinea on next fixture. Nepal will play PNG and Netherlands will play Hong Kong.

If Afghanistan beat Nepal in the other match on Saturday and then Nepal beat Hong Kong on Monday, then Afghanistan, Hong Kong and Nepal will all be tied on one win apiece and net run-rate will come into the equation to determine the third qualifier from Group B. Nepal, however, also failed to reach the Super Six phase. Let us check the ICC pre-tournament announcement first: "Netherlands plus three highest finishing Associate Member sides to earn ODI status till 2022".

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.

Star spinner Sandeep Lamichanne triggered Hong Kong's middle order collapse after Anshuman Rath nicked behind to wicket keeper Sah.

Lamichanne was pick of the Nepali bowler with 10-4-17-3.

This comes after Afghanistan cricket chief Shafiq Stanikzai apologised to fans on Thursday after the team's shock defeat by Hong Kong, which left the team's hopes of qualifying for the World Cup hanging by a thread.

By the virtue of advancing to the Super six stage of the event in Zimbabwe, Scotland and UAE have achieved ODI status.

West Indies, Zimbabwe, Ireland, and Afghanistan are all Test-playing nations, and have ODI status by default. In the process they helped Afghanistan's cause, pegging Hong Kong back. The winners will clash for the ultimate seventh spot finish.

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