Nepal nearly pulled out a shocking result in Asian Games 2010 cricket against Sri Lanka before losing the quarterfinal match by two wickets on Wednesday.

Nepal ripped through Sri Lanka’s top and middle order batting making it 42/7 before tailenders saved the gold-medal favorite team from the embarrassment. Nepal had scored 72 in its 20 overs.

The eighth-wicket partnership of 14 runs and ninth-wicket partnership of 17 runs dashed Nepal’s hope for moving into semifinal.

Jeevnatha Kulatunga (20) made some runs on top order while tailenders Dilhara Lokuhettige (10 runs off 13 balls), Sajeewa Weerakoon (unbeaten 13 off 17) and Kaushalya Lakuarachchi (unbeaten 9 off 18) remained firmed to deny Nepal an epic victory.

Amrit Bhattarai bowled exceptionally well early on to grab two wickets for just 10 runs in his four overs. Paras Khadka and Basant Regmi also grabbed two wickets each. Rahul Vishwakarma got a wicket for Nepal.

Earlier, Nepal won the toss and elected to bat first. Gyanendra Malla (30 off 30 balls) and captain Paras Khadka (18 off 24) made some noteworthy contributions while the remaining team flattered against the top-class Sri Lankan bowling.

Nepal lost last 8 wickets for just 21 runs after cameo from Gyanendra and Paras as Sri Lanka turned the game back in their favor from a stage when a score of 100 looked a possibility.

For Sri Lanka, captain Jehan Mubarak led the bowling with 3/6 in 3 overs while Lokuhettige took two wickets.

Sri Lanka now meets Bangladesh in semifinal while Afghanistan plays Pakistan in other semifinal.