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Nepal keep hopes of ODI status alive with five-wicket win over Hong Kong

Nepal batsmen Rohit Paudel and Somal Kami shared unbeaten 89 run stand
Nepal batsmen Rohit Paudel and Somal Kami shared unbeaten 89 run stand

Nepal 155-5 (Rohit 48no) beat
Hong Kong 153 (Nizakat 47) by five wickets
19th game, ICC World Cup Qualifiers, Bulawayo

Nepal have kept their hope of achieving ODI status following their five-wicket win over Hong Kong in the 19th game of the ICC World Cup Qualifiers in Bulawayo.

Hong Kong, who entered the game in a must-win situation now finish last in Group B allowing Afghanistan a lifeline as they head into the Super Six along with Zimbabwe and Scotland.

Hong Kong won the toss and opted to bat first. After the early loss of Christopher Carte (9), Nizakat Khan (47) and Babar Hayat (20) consolidated the innings with a brief stand but once they fell, Sandeep Lamichhane (3-17) troubled the middle order and eventually had Hong Kong down at 110 for eight.

A valiant 33-run stand for the eighth wicket between Ehsan Khan (21) and Ehsan Nawaz (13) helped Hong Kong recover a bit as they went on to post 153 before they were bowled out.

Lamichhane was the pick of the Nepal bowlers with three wickets while Basant Regmi (2-20) and KC Karan (2-35) shared two apiece.

The chase did not start well for Nepal as they lost their first five wickets in 20 overs and were reduced to 66 for five. Ehsan Khan (2-34) and Aizaz Khan (2-40) were the major wicket-takers for Hong Kong.

However, it was Rohit Kumar (48 not out) and Sompal Kami (37 not out), who ended Hong Kong's hope of making to the next round with an unbeaten 89 run stand as Nepal completed the chase in the 41st over with five wickets in hand. Rohit was awarded the player of the match.

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