United Arab Emirates will face Nepal in the final of the Tri-Nation T20I series on Friday despite a 69-run loss against Hong Kong in the last group stage match on Wednesday.
Hong Kong posted a formidable total of 212 for 3, the second-highest total in the series, after opting to bat first at the Mulpani cricket ground.
Opener Martin Coetzee provided a blazing start, smashing 86 runs from just 55 deliveries, including 10 fours and 4 sixes. Anshuman Rath and Coetzee forged a remarkable 106-run partnership for the second wicket in 67 deliveries.
Babar Hayat, played a cameo, blazed to a quick half-century from 15 balls, he remained unbeaten on 60 runs off 20 balls with 5 boundaries and sixes.
In reply, UAE openers struggled to give a good start. Skipper Muhammad Waseem was dismissed for 1(3) in the very first over. Likewise, Vriitya Aravind 7(8) and Asif Khan 0 (2) lost their wickets when UAE were 19 runs in 3.2 overs.
Alishan Sharafu contributed 30 runs off 21 deliveries, while Basil Hameed and Nilansh Keswani remained unbeaten on 30 and 31 runs, respectively. The duo managed a 60-run partnership for the sixth wicket. However, they struggled to reach the target and were restricted for 143 runs with five wickets in hand.
Ehsan Khan Ayush Shukla, Nasrulla Rana, and Yasim Murtaza shared wicket a piece.
Despite the loss, UAE had a stroke of luck, surprassing Hong Kong in the net runrate and securing a spot in the final against the hosts. Nepal finished at top of the table with four wins from four matches, while UAE and Hong Kong managed to secure one win each.