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Nepal fix dream date with Afghanistan in Qualifiers

Feb 15, 2018 | Cricketingnepal |

Nepal have fixed a dream date with their old rivals and Test cricket’s latest entrants Afghanistan in next month's ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifiers after they finished runners-up in the ICC World Cricket League Division 2 in Namibia on Thursday.

A Division 2 title would have seen Nepal battle in Group ‘A’ against once the heavyweights of world cricket along with another Tests’ new entrants Ireland, Netherlands and Papua New Guinea.

But in the final at the Wanderers Cricket Ground in Windhoek, Nepal fell seven runs short after UAE made 277-4 in 50 overs on a back of a century from Ashfaq Ahmed. Skipper Paras Khadka replied with a century making unbeaten 112 runs but Nepal could only managed 270-8.

Paras made 112 from 103 balls smashing eight sixes and three boundaries to finish as tournament’s leading scorer with 241 runs.

Following the result, Nepal joined Afghanistan in Group ‘B’ and will see the challenge from another Test side Zimbabwe along with fellow Associates Scotland and Hong Kong.

In the 10-team Qualifiers, the top three teams from each group will make it to the Super Six. The qualifying teams each play three Super Six matches against the sides they did not meet in the group stage.

All points won in the groups will be carried over to the Super Six stage apart from those gained against the bottom two from each group.

Nepal will meet hosts Zimbabwe in their tournament opener on at the Queens Sports Club on March 4 before taking on the Scotland on March 8 at the same venue. The meeting against the Afghans will take place at the Bulawayo Athletic Club on March 10.

The final group stage game against Hong Kong is slated for March 12 at the Queen’s Sports Club.

The Qualifiers is one of the most important tournaments for Nepali cricket as it can determine Nepali cricket’s future for the next four years.

Finishing as the top three Associate nations will not only give Nepal One Day International status but also see them compete in the future ICC tournaments for non-Test playing teams including the InterContinental Cup and World Cricket League Championship.


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