Nepal lost to Hong Kong by five wickets as the second
consecutive defeat in as many games has left team in crossroads at the ICC
World Twenty20 Qualifiers in Belfast on Wednesday.
The defeat pushed Nepal to the fifth spot and now they
must win their remaining two matches against Papua New Guinea on Friday and
Jersey on Saturday. However, two victories alone would not help Nepal in
their bid to qualify for the playoffs that would open them chances to reach the
2016 World Twenty20.
Nepal are now dependent in the results between other
teams in Group ‘A’ after collecting just three points from their four games.
Ireland, who were stunned by Papua New Guinea in a major upset earlier in the
day, lead the table with six points from four games, while PNG are second with
five points from three matches.
Namibia and Hong Kong are third and fourth
respectively with run rate separating the two teams. Wednesday’s was
Nepal’s third Twenty20 International against Hong Kong and 10th overall
that brought their seventh loss.
Nepal only three victories in the Twenty20
Internationals have come against Afghanistan, Hong Kong and the Netherlands.In the game on Wednesday, Nepal were put to bat
first and the decision paid dividend for Hong Kong, particularly seamer Haseeb
Amjad blanked Nepal’s front line with the wickets of
Subash Khakurel (two), Gyanendra Malla (duck) and skipper Paras Khadka (one)
reducing them to 31-5 inside 10 overs. Basanta Regmi and Sagar Pun made 11 runs
Sharad Vesawkar and Rajesh Pulami Magar consolidated
the innings with a 41-run partnership for the sixth wicket. In an attempt to up
the ante, Rajesh lost his wicket to Irfan Ahmed after making 25 off 34 with two
Nepal then lost Pradeep Airee for a first ball duck,
his second consecutive golden duck in as many innings. Sharad went on to add
another 24 runs with Sompal Kami before losing his wicket for 27. Sharad hit
two fours and a six in his 24-ball 27.
Sompal chipped in 16 off 12 with a six. Nepal had
collected 78 runs from their last 10 overs. Man-of-the-match Amjad finished
with the figures of 4-16 from four overs and Irfan also picked up two wickets.
Sompal checked the Hong Kong’s run flow in the second
over dismissing dangerous Irfan (one) cheaply but a 48-run stand between
Nizakat Khan and Anshuman Rath consolidated their position.
However, Bashant came into act removing Khan for 25
off 18 that included two fours and a six. Hong Kong lost their last four
wickets for just 35 runs before Babar Hayat (17) and Aizaz Khan (14) sailed
them home with a 21-run unbeaten stand.