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Nepal crush Maldives, set Afghan meet

Nepal crushed Maldives by seven wickets in their second match to finish Group ‘B’ winners at the Yeonhui Cricket Ground in Incheon, South Korea on Sunday.

 The second consecutive victory sets Nepal a quarter-final clash against Afghanistan on October 1. A victory against Afghanistan will put Nepal closer to a medal in the regional meet. 


Following an all round bowling effort, Nepal bundled out Maldives for just 53 in 18.5 overs before reaching 54-3 in 14.2 overs. After a slowly start, Nepal were shell shocked when they lost opener Sagar Pun (one) and Gyanendra Malla (one) with just 12 runs on the board after 5.2 overs. 


Skipper Paras Khadka and Subash Khakurel then spent some time in the crease before cutting loose. After a partnership of 25 runs, Paras lost his wicket for 15. Subash, meanwhile, made his intentions clear hitting Ahmed Faiz for a six and along with Sharad Vesawkar (six) sailed the team home. 


Subash remained unbeaten on 27 from 39 with one six and a four. Paras hit two boundaries in his 18-ball innings. 


Earlier, Som Pal Kami and Bhuwan Karki gave Nepal a dream start dismissing openers Abdullah Shahid and Mohammed Rishwan for ducks. After some wayward bowling from both bowlers, Maldives reached 19-2 inside five overs. 


Shakti Gauchan then struck in his first over but with a run out of Miusan Hamid (four). Shakti, however, picked up the wickets of Ahmed Hassan (five) that was followed by a run out of Mohammed Azzam for a duck as Maldives’ score read 25-5 in 8.5 overs. 


Two runs later Shakti picked up his second with another duck dismissal, this time of Ahmed Faiz. Sharaz Jaleel and Muwaiyath Ghanee then brought Maldives best partnership of the day sharing 21 runs for the seventh wicket until Sagar gave the breakthrough. 


Sagar dismissed Ghanee for 11. Bhuwan bowled Jaleel to virtually end Maldives innings. Jaleel top scored with 12 runs from 26 balls. Sagar and Basanta Regmi picked up the remaining two wickets.


Maldives innings featured only two boundaries, while they got 15 extra runs.

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