The Nepali cricket team defeated Hong Kong in a keenly-fought encounter between the two sides in the ICC World Cup Qualifiers match played at Bulawayo, Zimbabwe on March 12, 2018.
With this victory, the Nepali team improved its chances of qualifying to play as a full-fledged One Day International (ODI) nation.
Superlative Bowling from Sandeep!
Opting to bat first, Hong Kong managed to score 153 runs before falling out at the 49th over. Spin sensation Sandeep Lamichhane took three wickets conceding just 17 runs in addition to bowling an astounding 53 dot balls in 10 overs.
Seamer Karan KC and left-arm spinner Basant Regmi took a couple of wickets each. Regmi also bowled four maiden overs in his spell.
For Hong Kong, opener Nizakat Khan was the top scorer with 47 runs, while skipper Babar Hayat scored 20 runs.
Paudel Leads the Chase
Chasing a 154-run target, Nepal got off to a poor start and were reeling at 66-5 at one stage. However, 15-year old Rohit Paudel and all-rounder Sompal Kami went on for an unbroken partnership of 89 runs to lead Nepali team to victory.
Paudel was awarded the ‘Man of the Match’ for his unbeaten 48, which included five boundaries. Kami remained not-out with 37 runs.
Net run-rate plays Spoilsport
Despite securing equal points with Afghanistan by virtue of the win over Hong Kong, Nepal narrowly missed out on qualifying for the Super Sixes with a slightly-lower net run-rate.
However, all is not lost for the Nepali team. It will now hope to defeat Papua New Guinea in the first match of the consolation bracket playoff and secure its ODI status.