ICC/CN – Nepali Cricket team lost their third consecutive match in the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier New Zealand 2014 (CWCQ) losing to Hong Kong by 10 Wickets at Rangiora Oval, Christchurch on Sunday. In the other match played today Scotland defeated UAE by 63 runs-which meant Nepal became the first team in the tournament out of the World Cup Race.
At Rangiora Oval, Ahmed (86*) and Barkat (56*) combined to surpass the modest Nepal total of 150 with 16.4 overs to spare as Ahmed, the highest run-getter to date in the tournament (261 runs), struck eight fours and four sixes to lead the side to victory without the loss of a wicket, reaching 154 in 33.2 overs.
Earlier, the Hong Kong bowling attack had stifled the Nepal batsmen, dismissing the line-up for 150 in the final over.
Nepal lost four early wickets to be struggling at 17 for four inside six overs, before captain Paras Khadka’s patient knock added 29 runs. However, wickets continued to fall regularly without any big scores being added. Basant Regmi initiated a tail-end fight back, top-scoring with 45 runs, while Sompal Kami added 26. Regmi was the last wicket to fall, the fourth victim of Haseeb Amjad, who claimed four wickets for 40 to become the outright leading wicket-taker of the tournament (10 wickets).
Hong Kong captain Jamie Atkinson was thrilled with another strong performance, which sees his side move to top spot in the Group A table. “Winning is a habit, and with three wins from three – we couldn’t have asked for a better start.”
“The two openers did a brilliant job today. The team is really enjoying their cricket, confidence is high and we just need to keep our consistency up,” he said.
Nepal captain Paras Khadka was disappointed after his side’s third straight loss. “We’ve worked very hard to make it this far, but unfortunately at this tournament things haven’t fallen into place for us.”
The skipper hopes for a better performance from his team in the final group match against Canada. “The tournament’s still not over for us. We still need to push for that highest position possible, so that we stay as highly ranked as possible.”
At Rangiora Oval, Christchurch, South Island
Nepal 150 all out, 49.3 overs (Basant Regmi 45; Haseeb Amjad 4-40, Aizaz Khan 2-28, Irfan Ahmed 2-29)
Hong Kong 154 for none, 33.2 overs (Irfan Ahmed 86 not out, Waqas Barkat 56 not out)
Result: Hong Kong won by 10 wickets
Man of the Match: Irfan Ahmed (Hong Kong)