Nepal defeat Hong Kong for first victory in CWC qualifiers

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Afghanistan live to fight another day after Nepal's five-wicket victory over Hong Kong in Bulawayo yesterday sent them through to the Super Six stage.

The pair ran superbly between the wickets and put pressure on the Hong Kong fielders. The three teams, and Netherlands, make up the bottom two of both groups.

If Nepal beat Hong Kong on Monday, Afghanistan, Hong Kong and Nepal will be tied on one win apiece, then the side with the better net run-rate will go through. Nepal started well, but lost their way in the middle overs before recovering to win by 5 wickets.

Poudel and Sompal added 89 runs after a scary moment when Nepal lost quick wickets of Anil Kumar Sah (26), Gyanendra Malla (12) and skipper Paras Khadka (11).

For Nepal, Super Sixes was mathematically possible, practically not, but a victory meant there was still a chance to get ODI status for next four years.

Sompal Kami brisk not our 37 runs of just 40 ball with five fours resurrected the fragile Nepali innings before combining for a match winning partnership with Paudel.

Aizaz Khan took the first 2 wickets but failed to win it for his team. The ones that finish top three amongst them would be granted ODI status for the next four years.

KATHMANDU: Nepal are set to chase down 154 runs for victory against Hong Kong in final fixture of the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifiers game in Bulawayo of Zimbabwe on Monday.

The victor of this tie will play against the victor between Hong Kong and Netherlands for seventh place and last spot left to be grasped for ODI status. Aizaz Khan, the medium pacer, was at the thick of things as he first claimed the key wicket of Sikandar Raza for 10, and then accounted for Masakadza in his very next over with Nawaz plucking a stunner diving forward at short third man.

Earlier in the match, Nepal kept taking wickets at regular intervals, not allowing any batsmen to settle. For Afghanistan, who had just one victory against Nepal from four matches, it was even simpler: Nepal beat Hong and they are through.

This comes after Afghanistan cricket chief Shafiq Stanikzai apologised to fans on Thursday after the team's shock defeat by Hong Kong, which left the team's hopes of qualifying for the World Cup hanging by a thread.