Sports

Nepal crash to Hong Kong defeat

  • wclc match against hong kong
  • Chasing 195-run target, the tourists lose first of the two matches by 83 runs as road to 2018 Qualifier gets extremely tough
- BINOD PANDEY, HONG KONG

Oct 14, 2017-

Nepal’s automatic qualification into the 2018 Cricket World Cup Qualifiers was made even tougher after crashing to a huge 83-run defeat at the hands of Hong Kong in the ICC World Cricket League Championship (WCLC) here in Mong Kok on Friday.

The pitch at the tiny Tin Kwong Road Recreation grounds was expected to produce a high-scoring game but Hong Kong themselves struggled before a blitz from tailenders took them to 194 all out in 50 overs. Nepal had to sweat hard in their chase and were bundled out for just 111 runs in 34.5 overs. 

Nepal remain unchanged in the standings at sixth spot with eight points from 11 games in the eight-team WCLC that sends top four teams into the 2018 Qualifiers. Nepal now not only need to defeat Hong Kong on Sunday and overcome United Arab Emirates in the last round games but also expect Hong Kong and Kenya lose their final two matches.

The Netherlands (18 points) lead the standings followed by Papua New Guinea (16 points) and Scotland (15 points).

The only teams that Nepal can leapfrog in the standings are Hong Kong (13 points) and Kenya (12 points) to go fourth. Hong Kong play PNG and Kenya play Scotland in their last round matches.

The bottom four teams, however, will still have another shot at the Qualifiers provided they finish at the top two of next year’s ICC World Cricket League Division.

Nepal skipper Paras Khadka acknowledged the fact that Nepal are in dire straits in their bid to earn the tickets to the Qualifiers.

“From here, we have to play and win all the matches and hope for other results to favour us. If we cannot make it (to the Qualifiers) this time we have to go through Division 2. This is how we have been moving since 2008,” said Khadka. 

Nepal’s chase was rocked by an early dismissal of Sagar Pun (three) at 10 runs. Khadka and another opener Gyanendra Malla tried to rebuild the innings but the latter lost his wicket after a 36-run stand.

Malla made 21 off 29 with four boundaries. Medium pacer Aizaz Khan delivered a killer blow to Nepal’s top order picking up the key wickets of Malla, Khadka and in-form Dipendra Singh Airee (three). 

Khadka made 26 off 43 balls with three fours and his dismissal left Nepal in dire straits. Aarif Sheikh and Sompal Kami (11) tried to defy Hong Kong but spinner Ehsan Khan ripped through the Nepali batting with the wickets of both the set batsmen.

Sheikh made 23 off 40 with three boundaries. Binod Bhandari scored 18 from 17 with two fours and a six before falling prey to Ehsan. Ehsan took 5-17, while Aizaz claimed 3-14. 

Khadka admitted his batting unit didn’t take the responsibility. “We were unable to convert on our starts.As a bowling unit we were good. We can say that we were short of a batsman but those guys who were playing needed to take the responsibility,” added Khadka referring to the absence of Sharad Vesawkar due to viral fever. 

Earlier, seamers Sompal Kami and Karan KC took full use of morning conditions keeping four consecutive maiden overs with the latter also marking his return to international cricket with the dismissal of Anshuman Rath. Skipper Babar Hayat (29) played freely before he was removed by Airee with a direct hit. 

James Atkinson held firm despite cluster of wicket fell at the other end. Hong Kong were 119-7 at one stage and with Atkinson’s dismissal it was 144-8 but Tanwir Afzal’s late cameo helped swell the Hong Kong total. 

Afzal made 38 off 42 balls with three sixes and three boundaries. Man-of-the-match Atkinson posted a match-high 76 from 117 balls with nine boundaries and a six. Sandeep Lamichhane picked up 3-48, while KC (2-22) and Basanta Regmi (2-33) shared four wickets. The second match of the sixth round tie against Hong Kong is on Sunday. 

Standings

Teams P W L NR Pts NRR

Netherlands 12 8 2 2 18 +0.976

PNG 12 8 4 0 16 -0.241

Scotland 12 6 3 3 15 +0.354

Hong Kong 11 6 4 1 13 +1.046

Kenya 12 6 6 0 12 -0.147

Nepal 11 4 7 0 8 -0.364

Namibia 12 3 9 0 6 -0.547

UAE 12 3 9 0 6 -0.595

 

 

Summary

Hong Kong 194 all out in 50 overs (J Atkinson 76, T Afzal 38; S Lamichhane 3-48, K KC 2-22) beat Nepal 111 all out in 34.5 overs (P Khadka 26, A Sheikh 23; E Khan 5-17, A Khan 3-14) by 83 runs

Man-of-the-match: J Atkinson (HK)

Published: 14-10-2017 09:14

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