Nepal is taking on Hong Kong on Tuesday in a must win match to secure semifinal of the ACC Trophy Elite being held in the UAE.
With the victory against Saudi Arabia, Nepal’s chance to qualify to the semifinal came on track while UAE confirmed semifinal berth defeating Kuwait by 141 runs on Sunday. Nepal has suffered 4-wicket defeat against Kuwait and was in must win situation.
On the group B points table, the UAE is on top with six points from four matches. Hong Kong has second place on the table with four points from three matches. Nepal also has four points from three matches but inferior net run rate than Hong Kong.
As Nepal is taking on Hong Kong on Tuesday, any team that wins the Tuesday’s match will qualify to the semifinal of the tournament.
“It will be a vital match. If we win it, we’ll not only go forward but also have a chance to finish on the top of the group’s points table,” said Nepali team coach Pubudu Dassanayake.
Dassanayake expected that at least one of the two fast bowlers would be available for the match. “We are trying to get them fit before the match. We can hope at least one would be available for the match,” said Dassanayake. Nepali fast bowlers Binod Das and Amrit Bhattarai, both, are suffering from injury and they were not in the team that faced Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
Hong Kong is a team of World Cricket League Division 2. On the other hand, Nepal has recently secured promotion to Division 3.
Hong Kong is the winner of 2008 edition of the ACC Trophy Elite held in Malaysia. Nepal has reached the finals of 2002 and 2010 edition of the tournament but had to satisfy as runner-up in both occasions.
Nepal and Hong Kong had played six One-Day matches in the past. Nepal had won last three encounters and Hong Kong had won the first three.
Nepali men’s team has never lost to Hong Kong in 50-over format of the game after the 179-run semifinal defeat in 2000 edition of the ACC Trophy Elite held in the UAE.
Nepal had lost to Hong Kong by five wickets in 1996 edition of ACC Trophy Elite held in Malaysia and suffered six wickets defeat in 1998 edition held in Kathmandu.
Nepal defeated Hong Kong by 87 runs in 2006 edition held in Malaysia. In group-stage match of 2008 edition held in Malaysia, Nepal had stunned Hong Kong by 44 runs but the latter resurrected in the tournament as the ultimate winner. In 2010 edition held in Kuwait, Nepal had thrashed Hong Kong by 118 runs.