Singapore: Hong Kong and Nepal underlined the gulf in standards among second tier cricket nations on Friday with gargantuan wins in the ACC Trophy tournament in Singapore.
Hong Kong demolished Thailand by 231 runs for its second win from two matches, while Nepal in its first match of the Asian Cricket Council tournament routed Oman for a 105-run victory. It was the second trouncing for both sides. Thailand lost to Malaysia by 194 runs in their opening match, while Oman in their first international tournament lost to United Arab Emirates (UAE) by 138 runs on debut. Hong Kong, which lost the last ACC Trophy final to UAE in Sharjah two years ago, scored at nearly seven an over as it raced to 326 for five in 48 overs in a rain interrupted match against Thailand. Captain Rahul Sharma scored 105, his second century of the tournament, with David Mallinson contributing 88. Thailand was never in the hunt, lasting 36 overs before being all out for 95, with Sharma again to the fore taking three for 13. Nepal never looked dynamic when batting against Oman in the first non-rain affected match of the eight played since the tournament began on Wednesday. After 50 overs it was 153 for nine, with a 37 from Shakti Gauchan the top score. But when Oman went into bat the result was never in doubt as it crumbled to be 48 all out. Sanjam Regmi took three wickets for just five runs, Gauchan took three for 10 and Mahaboob Alam three for 13. The third match on Friday, between Malaysia and Maldives, was a sharp contrast to the two high-scoring fixtures. Malaysia was dismissed for 161 in the 40th over, and had the Maldives out for 119 in 35 overs to record a 42 run win. The ACC Trophy involves the 10 non-Test playing countries from Asia and the Middle East and also includes Qatar, Kuwait and Singapore. UAE, Hong Kong, Nepal, Singapore and Malaysia have been earmarked as 'fast track' countries by the ACC with a view to preparing them for One-day International status.
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