Nepal lost their first of the two sixth round matches against Hong Kong by 83 runs in chase of a low total that made their chances even tougher to round up inside the top four of the ICC World Cricket League Championship.
Nepali bowlers didn’t let the team down after they bundled out Hong Kong for just 194 runs in 50 overs after Sandeep Lamichhane picked up three wickets with Basanta Regmi and Karan KC snapping up two wickets apiece.
Nepal struggled throughout their chase barring a brief partnership between Gyanendra Malla and skipper Paras Khadka before they were bundled out for just 111 runs in 34.5 overs.
Nepal lost opener Sagar Pun (three) with just 10 runs on the board in their chase and saw Paras and Gyanendra shared 36 runs for the second wicket — the only bright spot for Nepal with the bat in the day.
Gyanendra made 21 from 29 balls with four boundaries and Paras was out for 26 off 46 with three boundaries. He was bowled Aizaz Khan who ripped through Nepal’s top and middle order.
Sompal Kami (11) and Aarif Sheikh offered a brief resistance before both batsmen were removed by Ehsan Khan who ended up with the figures of 5-17 from 5.5 overs. Aarif was second best scorer for Nepal making 23 off 40 with three hits to the fence.
Binod Bhandari played some aggressive shots but was out for 18 off 17 after two fours and a six. Nepal’s scorecard read three duck outs.
Earlier, fast bowlers Sompal Kami and Karan KC bowled a fiery opening spell keeping four consecutive maidens. Karan gave Nepal the first breakthrough removing Anshuman Rath for duck.
A run out of dangerous Babar Hayat (29) redcued Hong Kong to 35-2 and despite being in a position of 70-2 at one stage the hosts continued to struggle.
Their former skipper James Atkinson notched up 76 from 117 balls with nine fours and a six before handing first wicket to debutant Sushan Bhari Shrestha.
Hong Kong were 119-7 at one stage but Tanwir Afzal took his team close to 200-run mark making 38 from 42 with three fours and three sixes. Ehsan Nawaz made 16 not out from 23 balls.
Sandeep returned the figures of 3-48 from 10 overs, while Karan bowled miserly figures of 22-2 from eight. Basanta Regmi also took 2-33.