Nepal crash to a second successive defeat against Hong KongChasing 155 runs for a win, Nepal’s batting order collapsed once again and the team was bowled out for 111 in the ACC Eastern Regional T20 Qualifiers.
Nepal suffered a huge blow to their Asia Cup ambitions as they succumbed to a second straight defeat, going down against Hong Kong by 43 runs in the ACC Eastern Regional T20 Qualifiers match at the Terdthai Cricket Ground in Bangkok on Sunday.
Nepal's fragile batting line-up was again exposed by Hong Kong. Set a target of 155, Nepal were bowled out for 111 runs with 11 balls to spare. Earlier, Nepal had won the toss and put Hong Kong into bat.
Nepal had lost their opening match to Malaysia by 22 runs when they were restricted to 132. Only the top two among teams from the Regional Qualifiers make to Asia Cup Qualifiers. Nepal are yet to play hosts Thailand and Singapore in their remaining matches of the campaign.
The Hong Kong openers, Shahid Wasif and Nizakat Khan gave a solid start to their innings putting on a 58-run stand for the first wicket before the duo were removed by Sushan Bhari. Wasif, who contributed 26 off 23 balls was the first wicket to fall after he was caught by Aarif Sheikh on the penultimate ball of the eighth over.
Khan, who scored a quickfire 48 runs off 29 balls, was sent back to the pavilion when the score was 79, caught by Kushal Malla. He hit six fours and two sixes. Haroon Arshad (27) and skipper Aizaz Khan (29), were the next two remarkable contributors for Hong Kong who wrapped up their innings at 154-6.
For Nepal, Bhari and Sandeep Lamichhane grabbed two wickets each and Kushal Malla, one. Bhari conceded 37 runs in his four-over spell while Lamichhane gave away 25 runs in his four-overs.
During their run chase, Nepal openers, Kushal Malla and skipper Gyanendra Malla put on a 42-run stand for the first wicket giving a glimmer of hope. But once Kushal was caught by Nizakat Khan off Arshad in the fifth over, Nepal began to lose wickets quickly.
Though skipper Gyanendra Malla put up a resistance with a knock of 46 off 43 balls, he did not get support from the other end. Former captain Paras Khadka (4), Dipendra Singh Airee (5), Pawan Sarraf (1) and Binod Bhandari (5), departed cheaply as Nepal struggled at 79-5.
Gyanendra Malla was the sixth wicket to fall in the 15th over with 90 runs on the board. Aarif Sheikh (10) and Abinash Bohara (12) were the only batsmen other than Gyanendra Malla and Kushal Malla to score in double digit figures, before Nepal were bowled out.
Arshad was the most successful bowler for Hong Kong, claiming five wickets in his 3.1 overs, conceding 16 runs. Aftab Hussain returned figures of 4-0-14-3.
Nepal will next play against Thailand in their next match on Wednesday.