It just took 21 balls for the last four wickets to fall as Nepal achieved a maiden 3-day match victory over Hong Kong in the ACC Premier League today at the TU Cricket Ground.>
Captain Binod Das took the new ball in the 77th over brining in himself and Mehboob Alam into the attack as Nepal desperately looked for the breakthrough. Mehboob bowled a over and handed the ball to Mehboob who had yet to do anything good with the ball and that changed the match.
Mehboob bowling a fiery line unsuccessfully appealed for a lbw on the second ball and produced a ‘magic ball' on the next delivery to leave Irfan Ahmed, the highest scorer of Hong Kong's second innings, helplessly watching his flying lef-stump.
Next over, Roy Lamsam - who had partnered Irfan for a 44 runs in their stay lasting almost 25 overs was caught behind on Binod's delivery. Afzaal Haider added two in the over leaving No 9 James Atkinson facing the Mehboob over. On the second ball, Mehboob trapped him lbw and the very next ball Nadeem Ahmed was run out by Sarad Vesawkar giving Nepal a 165-run victory.
Hong Kong were given an almost unachievable target of 305 runs in a minimum of 91 overs as Nepal declared their second innings at 223/8. Hong Kong, who scored 136 in the first innings, scored three more runs in the second. After the match, Nepal had 32 bonus points while Hong Kong had 13.
This morning, Nepal declared its second innings after losing captain Binod and vice-captain Paras Khadka. Binod added 10 more to his overnight 20 before holing out one at the long-off while Paras added 18 runs before being caught at extra-cover. Nadeem Ahmed claimed both making his match scalp of 10 wickets taking 5/93 in the second.
Hong Kong had hoped of a good patient innings but that didn't come from the top-order batsmen. Binod began with bowling out Imran Idrees for 5 with his slow delivery before Amrit Bhattarai claimed his first wicket grabbing the return catch of Mark Eames (20).
From 37/2, Adam Gunthrope and captain Ravi Sujenani took the score to 56/2. Ravi was then became victim of mis-understanding and was run-out for 8 while Gunthrope too didn't last long as he was caught by Paras off Sanjam Regmi for 21. Off-spinner Sanjam added one more, that of Najeeb Amar, to down Hong Kong to 64/5 before two good partnership frustrated Nepali bowlers.
Ilyas Gull (12) added 29 with Irfan before being bowled out round the leg by Raj Kumar Pradhan. Irfan continued with Lamsam as Binod tried everyone who knows bowling for the breakthrough. It wasn't until the new ball was taken that Nepal achieved the first victory against Hong Kong after losing one and drawing another.
'Of course, a good win,' Nepal's coach Roy Dias said. 'We needed a win against Hong Kong because we hadn't defeated them. We defeated them in the ACC Trophy in one-day for the first time this year and then this one.' Dias praised Mehboob for his fiery second spell and said he wasn't much happy with the spinners.
Hong Kong captain Ravi Sujenani blamed his team's batting for the loss. 'At the team, we were pretty confident that we could hold on for a draw,' he said. 'Definitely we need to improve our batting.' He added that Nepali players applied themselves more to the situation and got the victory.