Singapore: Nepal claimed the remaining semi-final berth in the ACC Trophy tournament on Wednesday, romping to a comfortable 124-run win over Kuwait, the only other contender for a place in the top four.
The semi-final line-up on Friday will see defending champion United Arab Emirates (UAE) play Hong Kong, the beaten finalists in the last tournament two years ago, while Nepal will play Malaysia. Nepal captain Raju Khadku had no hesitation in batting first against Kuwait when he won the toss, and the side put on 288 for six in its 50 overs with Dipendra Chaudhary not out 80 and Mahaboob Alam scoring 60. Kuwait in reply was bundled out for 164 in the 36th over. Waheed Iqbal top scored with 43, while Nepalese bowler Sanjam Regmi finished with three for 31. Unbeaten UAE had an easy six wicket win over Qatar in its final pool match. Qatar batting first made 158 for nine, with Armeen Uullah Khan scoring 38. Asim Saeed contributed 68 and Kaif Ghori 40 as UAE picked off the target in 34 overs with the loss of four wickets. In the third match on Wednesday, Maldives picked up its first win of the tournament with an eight-wicket triumph over luckless Thailand. Thailand was all out for 121 in the 48th over, with Anil Tanwani the only batsman to fire before he was caught and bowled by Ahmed Amir for 52. Amir returned with figures of three for 13 off 6.3 overs. Maldives, in reply, plundered the Thai bowling and reached the target in just 16 overs for the loss of two wickets, with opener Moosa Khalem unbeaten on 51 from 41 balls, including eight fours and a six. The tournament is for the 10 non-Test sides in Asia and the Middle East, with the two finalists qualifying for the Asia Cup in two years' time.
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