ICC- Haseeb Amjad’s career-best effort (4 for 16) helped set up Hong Kong’s first win at the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier 2015 against Nepal at the Civil Service Cricket Club ground in Belfast on Wednesday (July 15).
That only two Nepal batsmen crossed 20 explained its troubles as it was bowled out for 109 in 20 overs after being sent in to bat. In reply, Hong Kong overcame a middle-order meltdown before eventually prevailing by five wickets in a tense finish.
Amjad, the medium pacer, did the early running by dismissing three of Nepal’s top four that included Subash Khakurel (2), Gyanendra Malla (0) and Paras Khadka (1). At 17 for 4 in the seventh over, Nepal was in need of a partnership.
Sharad Vesawkar topscored with 25, and his 41-run stand for the sixth wicket with Rajesh Pulami, who made 25, helped Nepal recover briefly before a lower-order collapse once again hampered the innings. In the end, Sompal Kami’s 16-run cameo helped it cross the 100-run mark.
Kami then gave Nepal a dream start with the ball as he netted Irfan Ahmed (1) in the second over. But Anshuman Rath (19) and Nizakat Khan (25) set up the chase beautifully for Hong Kong with a 48-run stand in just 7.1 overs.
But three wickets in the space of 16 runs, all to Basant Regmi, the left-arm spinner, threatened to derail its chase. At 89 for 5 in 17 overs, the game was back in the balance.
But with Regmi having completed his quota of four overs for 16 runs and four wickets, Khadka had to rely on his back up bowlers to do the job.
But Hong Kong’s nerves was eased by Babar Hayat (17 not out) and Aizaz Khan (14 not out) as they reduced the equation to 11 off the last two overs before polishing it in style with five balls to spare.
The result meant Nepal now has just one win and a washout in four outings, while Hong Kong leapfrogged Jersey to climb to fifth in the Group A standings.