Afghans finish third
Both Afghanistan and Nepal lost out in yesterday's semi-finals of the ACC Trophy, but they still headed to the Bayuemas Oval today, hoping to go home with a win in the third place play-off.
Nepal batted first, and lost wickets regularly. Kanishka Chaugai was the only batsman to get a start, top scoring with 43. Afghanistan used eight bowlers, but were always on top, and restricted Nepal to 210/8 from their 50 overs.
Nepal still had a chance though, especially with Afghanistan's often fragile batting order. And when they were reduced to 100/6, it was looking like Nepal were going to pull off the win. But Mohammad Nabi, who has first-class experience with the MCC and Pakistan Customs, had other ideas and scored 55 from 56 balls. He was ably assisted by Samiullah Shenwari, who scored 51 to lead Afghanistan to a three wicket win with 10 balls to spare.
Afghanistan and Nepal thus finish third and fourth for the second consecutive tournament. Can the UAE beat Hong Kong in tomorrow's final and ensure an identical top five to 2006?
Meanwhile, Bahrain beat Kuwait by 99 runs to secure seventh place after scoring 328/6 thanks to 85 from 51 balls by Tahir Dar. In the ninth place play-off, Qatar beat Saudi Arabia by nine wickets thanks to Abbas Khan, who took 5/20 from his ten overs in the Saudi Arabia innings. Last place will be very disappointing for the Saudis, as their tournament started so well with a shock win over the defending champions, the UAE.