Singapore: Nepal continued its fairytale run in cricket on Friday with an upset win over Malaysia to join defending champions United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the finals of the ACC Trophy tournament.
After winning the toss and batting first, Nepal was held to what appeared to be a conservative 181 for nine off its 50 overs, but then dismissed Malaysia for 156 with two overs to spare. In the other semi-final, UAE beat Hong Kong by 87 runs to make the final for the third time in this the fourth ACC Trophy tournament. Nepal's success in Singapore ensures it a place in the Asia Cup tournament and follows the performance of its youth side, which earlier this year made the final of the Plate Championship at the Under-19 World Cup. Both sides are coached by former Sri Lankan Test player Roy Dias. Against Malaysia, Shakti Gauchin top scored with 67, and Bindo Das was run out for 38, while the best of the bowling came from Noor Roslee who took two for 30. In reply, Malaysia was all out for 156 with Raj Pradhan doing the damage in the middle of the innings when Malaysia went from 116 for three to 117 for six. Pradhan finished with three for 39, while Eszrafiq Aziz top scoring for Malaysia with 50. In the second semi-final, Hong Kong won the toss and put UAE into bat, a rare move on Singapore wickets. UAE raced to 279 for six, with Asim Saeed scoring 55 and fellow opener Arshad Ali contributing 42. The chase never looked on for the Hong Kong batsmen, and the innings ended in the 49th over with the score at 193 with Saleem Malik making 52 and UAE skipper Khuram Khan taking four for 46. The final between UAE and Nepal will be played on Sunday. In pool matches UAE beat Nepal by six wickets.
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