ACC news April 7, 2010

Afghanistan and Nepal prepare for ACC final

Tony Munro
19

Tony Munro

A new country will have its name added to the list of ACC Trophy Elite winners when Afghanistan plays Nepal in the final on Friday.

Afghanistan comfortably beat defending champions Hong Kong by five wickets in one semi-final while Nepal held off a brave chase by Malaysia to win by eight runs in the other.

Mohammad Nabi maintained his reputation as Afghanistan's best player to earn the Man-of-the-Match award taking 3 for 35 and then contributing 35 not out in another good all-round performance.

Nabi ended the innings of Hong Kong's top scorer, Hussein Butt (63) to help restrict Hong Kong to 205 all-out in 48.1 overs. Butt had smashed three sixes and four fours in his 113-ball innings. Butt's removal at 152 for 5 in the 40th over stymied his team's momentum which was further slowed when Nabi dismissed Moner Ahmed (18 off 17 including a four and a six).

Afghanistan began their chase of 206 in rollicking fashion scoring at six runs an over, although were precariously placed when captain Nowroz Mangal was bowled by Moner Ahmed for 1. The Afghans were 4 for 89 after 13.1 overs, and in need of a stabilising partnership. This came when Asghar Stanekzai combined with Raees Ahmadzai (38) to put on 81 runs for the fifth wicket. Irfan Ahmed provided late hope for Hong Kong when he took a return catch from Ahmadzai, but this only brought Nabi to the crease. Stanekzai played a key innings for Afghanistan, compiling an unbeaten 55 from 93 balls, including three fours and a six.

Malaysia all-rounder, Suresh Navaratnam, almost pulled off another match-winning performance as he scored 115 as his side fell just eight runs short in the other semi-final against Nepal. Navaratnam took vital wickets in his team's win over United Arab Emirates on Wednesday. As he passed his century it seemed he may play a similar role, this time with the bat, but Malaysia was all-out with two balls remaining. It was seemingly the second unlikely comeback in two days after Nepal amassed 271 for six in their 50 overs. Nepal's total was based around an unbeaten 97 from Sharad Vesawkar with help from Gyanendra Malla (49) and Shakti Gauchan (52).

Friday's final should attract considerable interest, featuring the two teams with the most passionate suuporters in Asian non-Test cricket.

In the play-off for seventh and eighth place, event hosts Kuwait celebrated their last game of the tournament with a comfortable 10 wicket win over Bhutan.

Perhaps wanting to protect their bowlers from conceding another record score, Bhutan opted to bat after winning the toss. The Bhutanese battled hard to survive 41.4 overs to reach 132 all out. Left-hander Sonam Tobgay (48) top-scored for Bhutan while Tshering Tashi made 32. Slow left arm bowler Muhammad Javed was the pick of the Kuwaiti bowlers, taking 3 for 31.

The fact batting is the stronger of the Bhutanese disciplines was evidenced when Kuwait needed just 11.5 overs to overtake Bhutan's total. Kuwait opener Khalid Hussain smashed 83 not out and captain Hisham Mirza an unbeaten 38 to give Kuwait a 10 wicket victory with 139 balls to spare. Both teams can now rest up until December when they are due to play in the World Cricket League Division Eight tournament, also in Kuwait.

The ACC Trophy continues on Thursday when United Arab Emirates and Oman meet in the play-off for fifth and sixth places.

Sahil Dutta is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • anil on May 9, 2010, 6:17 GMT

    unfortunately nepal loose the game.

  • Zadran on April 14, 2010, 6:51 GMT

    As all of you commented on this article, once again the time proved that afghanistan is the best new growth team and will beat more champions in the next future.

    good luck afghanistan in the next T20

  • bipul on April 9, 2010, 5:33 GMT

    nepal is the best non test playing nation and has a great passion for great.every children in nepal have passion for cricket

  • sabal dahal on April 9, 2010, 5:13 GMT

    This time Nepal will surely win this title. There is no chances to win the title by Afganistan. The top player like Raul bika, paras khadka, mahomad alam, shakti gauchan, gyanendra malla and the other player will make the nepali proud. You can do it boys.

  • binay on April 9, 2010, 0:39 GMT

    Nepali is really a good team, they will definitely beat afghanistan. all the best Nepal. Nepal will be the next asian nation to play test cricket

  • Tom Logan on April 8, 2010, 17:16 GMT

    We England people wish Afghanistan best of luck.

  • Ganesh Tamang on April 8, 2010, 14:50 GMT

    Nepal surely will gonna win this match against Afganistan to get the ACC Trophy there in Kuwait. So, I am very much confident about Nepal's win over Afganistan 'coz our team is much balance team in this tournament. We have got lots of experience players and young one too. Lets the finger crossed.

  • punj on April 8, 2010, 6:20 GMT

    its great to see nepal rising up again. had the infrastructures and the security of playing for the country been better, nepal would have raised its performance before itself.

  • krishnaoli on April 8, 2010, 5:46 GMT

    i think many supporters from Nepal in Kuwait the plan is to became the ACC CHAMPION for that nepal just win a match, but without any plan it would be difficult to beat Afghanistan team. actually both team is similar but now days nepali batsman progressing very well. since 5 -6 matches es we have not loose any team out fielding, bowling, and batting line more strong other any ACC TEAM SO HOPE final also would be great match for nepal. thank you for the kantipuronline web pages and cricinfo. com because many nepali cricket supports are keeping their own speech from these web site .

  • Supen on April 8, 2010, 5:16 GMT

    The finals between the most deserving countries in non test palying nation in Asia. We surely will witness the tough fight between the two nations. Afghanistan surely the favorite with its fairytale success in international cricket, but Nepal also being developing cricketing nation where cricket is taken bit more seriously also has the edge with its consistent success in the recent tournaments... Best of luck Nepal and afghanistan ... You are the gem to Asian cricket.

  • anil on May 9, 2010, 6:17 GMT

    unfortunately nepal loose the game.

  • Zadran on April 14, 2010, 6:51 GMT

    As all of you commented on this article, once again the time proved that afghanistan is the best new growth team and will beat more champions in the next future.

    good luck afghanistan in the next T20

  • bipul on April 9, 2010, 5:33 GMT

    nepal is the best non test playing nation and has a great passion for great.every children in nepal have passion for cricket

  • sabal dahal on April 9, 2010, 5:13 GMT

    This time Nepal will surely win this title. There is no chances to win the title by Afganistan. The top player like Raul bika, paras khadka, mahomad alam, shakti gauchan, gyanendra malla and the other player will make the nepali proud. You can do it boys.

  • binay on April 9, 2010, 0:39 GMT

    Nepali is really a good team, they will definitely beat afghanistan. all the best Nepal. Nepal will be the next asian nation to play test cricket

  • Tom Logan on April 8, 2010, 17:16 GMT

    We England people wish Afghanistan best of luck.

  • Ganesh Tamang on April 8, 2010, 14:50 GMT

    Nepal surely will gonna win this match against Afganistan to get the ACC Trophy there in Kuwait. So, I am very much confident about Nepal's win over Afganistan 'coz our team is much balance team in this tournament. We have got lots of experience players and young one too. Lets the finger crossed.

  • punj on April 8, 2010, 6:20 GMT

    its great to see nepal rising up again. had the infrastructures and the security of playing for the country been better, nepal would have raised its performance before itself.

  • krishnaoli on April 8, 2010, 5:46 GMT

    i think many supporters from Nepal in Kuwait the plan is to became the ACC CHAMPION for that nepal just win a match, but without any plan it would be difficult to beat Afghanistan team. actually both team is similar but now days nepali batsman progressing very well. since 5 -6 matches es we have not loose any team out fielding, bowling, and batting line more strong other any ACC TEAM SO HOPE final also would be great match for nepal. thank you for the kantipuronline web pages and cricinfo. com because many nepali cricket supports are keeping their own speech from these web site .

  • Supen on April 8, 2010, 5:16 GMT

    The finals between the most deserving countries in non test palying nation in Asia. We surely will witness the tough fight between the two nations. Afghanistan surely the favorite with its fairytale success in international cricket, but Nepal also being developing cricketing nation where cricket is taken bit more seriously also has the edge with its consistent success in the recent tournaments... Best of luck Nepal and afghanistan ... You are the gem to Asian cricket.

  • Nasir Ahmad Khogiani on April 8, 2010, 4:24 GMT

    Congratulation to both Afghanistan and Nepal for reaching the ACC Elite trophy 2010, both teams are the stronger while Afghanistan are granted with international experience, for the Afghans it’s not easy to beat the Nepali same not easy for Nepal to beat Afghanistan, Nepal are in a little pressure as many times Afghanistan has beaten them in different format and matches. Wish them best of luck

  • Anil Koshy on April 8, 2010, 3:46 GMT

    Good to see two of the best teams playing in the finals. The best thing is that both teams have local players in their sides, whoever wins it will be a victory for the game. ICC should encourage teams who rely on locals rather than wasting time and money on countries who depend on expatriates.

  • Raver on April 8, 2010, 2:42 GMT

    The article is one sided favouring afgans, Nepal is not as weak that this blog regards, afgans weak point is batting nepal have to pack up under 200 if bowling first, in fist batting situation plus 250 is winning run. good luck nepal

  • Dinesh on April 8, 2010, 2:28 GMT

    Nepal will clinched the trophy if our opners play as they are playing from the final of WCL division 5.We are egar to see Nepal as the best team in asia after the test playing nations. Best of luck NEPAL for final..

  • k.K.Nathan on April 8, 2010, 1:04 GMT

    Congratulations to the Malaysian team for a superb performance. They fought gallantly but not enough to win the game. The two outstanding players Suresh & Suhan were great and their contributions is a reflection of their exposure and skill they acquired by playing in the Melbourne league a few months before the tournament. This is something the other players need to think about if they wish to contribute significantly to the betterment of Malaysian cricket. Another point is that Malayasia is the only other team in the Tournament with about 95% of home grown players.We have only two foreigners who are deemed Nationals. Hope that the other countries will take a cue from us to develop more local players than to depend on players from Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka. Keep it up malaysia.You are Great.

  • Niraj on April 7, 2010, 21:56 GMT

    This time Nepal should win. Roy Dias, Sri Lankan, Coach of Team Nepal has done a great job in bringing together a nice team out of nowhere. I hope more neighbouring countries come forward to contribute to improve cricket in Nepal. Cheers to Roy Dias....

  • mir ahmad kandari on April 7, 2010, 19:11 GMT

    frest of all i love all world then i love all cricket players then i love afghnistan and afghan cricket team i am fruod of them they did my dream come true i love to see them in t20 worldcup on top i know that is not easy coz there they will play with big team but i will pray for them every time

  • Jalal Mosazai on April 7, 2010, 15:59 GMT

    Those winnings of international cricket matches means allot to Afghanistan at this situation,. I really appreciate the performance of Afghan cricketers. wish them all the best for upcoming T20 world cup. Sar lwarai di wee Afghanistan

  • krishnaoli on April 7, 2010, 15:43 GMT

    of course both team are strong they have 50-50 chances if Nepal comes again good batting it would be champion because nepal have brilliant fielders and bowlers. no doubt Afghanistan playing cricket style because they have more experience as international level but we can't guess in cricket game of looking back result so look and see how is both play and which team is the ACC BEST????

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  • krishnaoli on April 7, 2010, 15:43 GMT

    of course both team are strong they have 50-50 chances if Nepal comes again good batting it would be champion because nepal have brilliant fielders and bowlers. no doubt Afghanistan playing cricket style because they have more experience as international level but we can't guess in cricket game of looking back result so look and see how is both play and which team is the ACC BEST????

  • Jalal Mosazai on April 7, 2010, 15:59 GMT

    Those winnings of international cricket matches means allot to Afghanistan at this situation,. I really appreciate the performance of Afghan cricketers. wish them all the best for upcoming T20 world cup. Sar lwarai di wee Afghanistan

  • mir ahmad kandari on April 7, 2010, 19:11 GMT

    frest of all i love all world then i love all cricket players then i love afghnistan and afghan cricket team i am fruod of them they did my dream come true i love to see them in t20 worldcup on top i know that is not easy coz there they will play with big team but i will pray for them every time

  • Niraj on April 7, 2010, 21:56 GMT

    This time Nepal should win. Roy Dias, Sri Lankan, Coach of Team Nepal has done a great job in bringing together a nice team out of nowhere. I hope more neighbouring countries come forward to contribute to improve cricket in Nepal. Cheers to Roy Dias....

  • k.K.Nathan on April 8, 2010, 1:04 GMT

    Congratulations to the Malaysian team for a superb performance. They fought gallantly but not enough to win the game. The two outstanding players Suresh & Suhan were great and their contributions is a reflection of their exposure and skill they acquired by playing in the Melbourne league a few months before the tournament. This is something the other players need to think about if they wish to contribute significantly to the betterment of Malaysian cricket. Another point is that Malayasia is the only other team in the Tournament with about 95% of home grown players.We have only two foreigners who are deemed Nationals. Hope that the other countries will take a cue from us to develop more local players than to depend on players from Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka. Keep it up malaysia.You are Great.

  • Dinesh on April 8, 2010, 2:28 GMT

    Nepal will clinched the trophy if our opners play as they are playing from the final of WCL division 5.We are egar to see Nepal as the best team in asia after the test playing nations. Best of luck NEPAL for final..

  • Raver on April 8, 2010, 2:42 GMT

    The article is one sided favouring afgans, Nepal is not as weak that this blog regards, afgans weak point is batting nepal have to pack up under 200 if bowling first, in fist batting situation plus 250 is winning run. good luck nepal

  • Anil Koshy on April 8, 2010, 3:46 GMT

    Good to see two of the best teams playing in the finals. The best thing is that both teams have local players in their sides, whoever wins it will be a victory for the game. ICC should encourage teams who rely on locals rather than wasting time and money on countries who depend on expatriates.

  • Nasir Ahmad Khogiani on April 8, 2010, 4:24 GMT

    Congratulation to both Afghanistan and Nepal for reaching the ACC Elite trophy 2010, both teams are the stronger while Afghanistan are granted with international experience, for the Afghans it’s not easy to beat the Nepali same not easy for Nepal to beat Afghanistan, Nepal are in a little pressure as many times Afghanistan has beaten them in different format and matches. Wish them best of luck

  • Supen on April 8, 2010, 5:16 GMT

    The finals between the most deserving countries in non test palying nation in Asia. We surely will witness the tough fight between the two nations. Afghanistan surely the favorite with its fairytale success in international cricket, but Nepal also being developing cricketing nation where cricket is taken bit more seriously also has the edge with its consistent success in the recent tournaments... Best of luck Nepal and afghanistan ... You are the gem to Asian cricket.