ACC Premier Cup, Nepal Men

Nepal clinches third straight victory in ACC Premier Cup with dominant win over Hong Kong

The Nepalese national cricket team registered their third consecutive win in the ACC Premier Cup 2024 as they defeated Hong Kong by eight wickets, chasing a modest target of 115 runs.

Nepal is on the brink of securing their spot in the semifinals, although it has yet to be officially confirmed. They started the tournament with a five-wicket win over Malaysia and bagged 32-run victory against Qatar in the following match.

Chasing a modest target, Nepali openers started fiercely, scoring at a quick rate. They added 70 runs from just 5.3 overs before Kushal Bhurtel walked back for a 19-ball 32. Aasif Sheikh too was dismissed in the next over after scoring 40 runs from 18 balls with the help of three fours and equal sixes.

Rohit Paudel and Sundeep Jora then added 41* runs to seal the victory. Rohit Paudel finished things with a boundary in 12.2 overs. He remained unbeaten for 25(20)* whilst Sundeep Jora made 19(17)*.

Earlier,  Nepal wrapped up Hong Kong for 114 in 17.5 overs. The toss was postponed due to persistent rain, resulting in the match being shortened to 18 overs per side following a break in play caused by the inclement weather. Nepal won the toss and invited Hong Kong to bat first.

Hong Kong batters struggled to face Nepal bowlers and lost their wickets at regular intervals. Karan KC dismissed Martin Coetzee (8) to yield the first wicket. Skipper Nizakat Khan (12) and Anshuman Rath (34) were run out following a brilliant piece of a direct hit from DS Airee and Gulshan Jha respectively. Hong Kong were 67/3 at one stage but went on to lose seven wickets for just 47 runs. Lalit Rajbanshi and Abinash Bohara didn’t give any chance to score big whilst DS Airee coming to bowl his first in the 18th over picked up two in two to close out Hong Kong’s inning.

Nepal bowlers showed brilliant performance with Abinash Bohara emerging as a pick of a bowler. He picked up three wickets conceding 29 runs (4-0-29-3). Lalit Rajbanshi was the most economical, giving away only 14 runs (4-1-14-2). DS Airee got two whereas Karan KC took one wicket.