Nepal make it four out of four in Thailand
After a win yesterday against Afghanistan, Nepal ended their first round fixtures with a win over the tournament hosts in Bangkok.
Batting first after winning the toss, Nepal lost both openers cheaply, but recovered thanks to 64 from Prithu Baskota. The lower middle order struggled a little though, and Nepal were on 196-9 at one point, but the last pair put on 49 to take them to 245-9 from their 50 overs.
In reply, Thailand had reached 43-1 in the 18th over and whilst they were unlikely to win from that point, it was looking like they could make a good attempt at batting out their overs. Then the carnage began. Ten overs later, Thailand were all out for 71 and Rahul Viswakarma had figures of 8-15 - the second time in the tournament a bowler had taken eight wickets in an innings.
Nepal thus remain unbeaten and their place in the second round is secure. Their fellow qualifier from the Bangkok group is yet to be decided but will be either Afghanistan or the UAE who will play each other in a deciding match tomorrow. The UAE were in action today, recording a straightforward six wicket win over Oman after bowling them out for just 39.
At Chiang Mai, old rivals Singapore and Malaysia were meeting each other. Malaysia batted first after winning the toss, and if it wasn't for 41 from number nine batsman Mohammad Nazril, their innings would have looked even poorer than their final total of 137 all out, Karthik Suresh the pick of the bowlers with 3-29.
Singapore chased down their target, but lost six wickets in the process. They were helped by the 36 runs in extras given away by Malaysia, the highest score of their innings.
In the other game at Chiang Mai, Qatar looked like they were, like Nepal, going to end their first round campaign unbeaten when they bowled Bahrain out for just 111. Bahrain had other ideas though, and Cyrus D'Souza took 5-16 to help bowl Qatar out for 99, Bahrain winning by 12 runs.
Despite that loss though, Qatar's place in the semi finals is secure. Who will join them is an open question though. If Hong Kong beat Malaysia tomorrow, it will be them. But if Malaysia win then Hong Kong, Malaysia and the winner of the Bahrain v Singapore match will all be level on four points and net run rate will come into play.
Qatar and Nepal though can take a couple of days to prepare for their semi-finals whilst the other two spots are decided in tomorrow's matches.