ACC Premier Cup, International

Sandeep Lamichhane’s heroic against Qatar helps Nepal finish on Top

The Nepalese national cricket team thrashed Qatar in the final group stage match to book a semi-final spot topping Group A. Nepal were victorious by 68 runs at TU Cricket Ground.

Nepal will now face Kuwait in the semi-final match. Oman and UAE will battle in the other semi-final match. Kuwait stunned Hong Kong in the last match to march ahead, knocking out Hong Kong.

Nepal were forced to bat first after losing the toss. They were down to 9 for 2 within the four overs. Rohit Paudel (27), and Aasif Sheikh (19) seemed to boost Nepal’s inning, but their departure in a couple of overs spare saw Nepal down to 62 for 4. In a blink of an eye, Nepal lost their nine wickets when Nelson was up in 28th over. Sandeep Lamichhane then rescued Nepal with an unbeaten 48 runs striking six boundaries. He partnered with Lalit Rajbanshi for the match-defining partnership of 46 runs off 75 deliveries for the last wicket. Eventually, Nepal were bowled out for 157 in 40.3 overs.

Amir Farooq bagged four wickets, whereas Owais Ahmed and Gayan Munaweera picked up three and two wickets respectively.

In response, Qatar couldn’t resist Nepal’s firm bowling attack and were rattled out for a mere 89 runs in 25.1 overs. Sandeep Lamichhane was the pick of the bowlers, grabbing a fifer. He conceded just 14 runs from his 9.1 overs, bowling three maiden overs. Sompal Kami (7-1-24-3) and Lalit Rajbanshi (5-0-27-2) shared the other five wickets.

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Zaheer Ibrahim and Khurram Shahzad scored the highest 15 runs each for Qatar. Amir Farooq added 14, while other batters couldn’t manage the double-digit score.

Nepal finished on top of Group A with seven points from four matches. They are the only undefeated side in the tournament. Meanwhile, Qatar ended up with no points, losing all four matches.