Afghanistan, Nepal maintain ascendency
For the second time in two days, Sompal Kami and Mahaboob Alam played leading performances helping Nepal register their second successive win, this time against Malaysia, in the ACC Premier League match in Kuala Lumpur. The two players had picked up three wickets each in the win against UAE; here Kami bagged a five-wicket haul, and Alam hit a half-century to steer what threatened to be a tricky chase. Chasing 150, Nepal were rocked by Suresh Navaratnam's triple-strikes and at 36 for 4, were in serious trouble. However, Alam added 89 for the fifth wicket with Sharad Vesawkar to almost seal the match. He was run-out for 53, but with only 25 needed, Nepal overhauled the target without much fuss. The foundation for the win had been laid earlier though, when Kami ran through the Malaysia top order. Malaysia's batsmen failed to construct meaningful stands and the team was bowled out for 149 in the 43rd over.
A batting blitz towards the end of the first innings was the highlight of Afghanistan's thumping win against UAE. Put in to bat, Afghanistan were in already in a good position - 172 for 4 - at the 40-over mark, thanks to half-centuries by their openers Noor Ali Zadran and Usman Ghani. But what followed stamped out the bowler's confidence. Mohammad Nabi and Samiullah Shenwari ransacked 116 runs in the last eight overs to lift the total over 300. The mayhem included 11 fours and seven sixes. UAE were not dazed by the assault - the openers added 70 and Amjad Ali went on to score 98 to keep the team in the chase. But Amjad's dismissal gave Afghanistan an opening which they seized immediately. Rahmat Shah picked up five wickets, including that of Amjad, to complete a comprehensive win.
Oman won their second match in a row, beating the more established Hong Kong by nine runs in a low-scoring encounter at the Selangor Turf Club. A victory didn't seem on the cards for Oman after the first hour of the game during which their top order caved in. At 57 for 6 in the 21st over, a swift end to the game seemed likely, but Oman reached 143 thanks to 30s from No. 8 Sultan Ahmed and No. 9 Amir Ali. Hong Kong's top order was similarly fragile, and the chase was in ruins at 25 for 4 in the eighth over. Again, it needed 30s from the lower order, this time No. 7 Ankur Sharma and No. 9 Haseeb Amjad, for Hong Kong to get close to the target. Though Amjad threw his bat around when he had the last man for company, he holed with Hong Kong ten short.
May 2, 10.45am GMT The article had incorrectly referred to Malaysia v Nepal game as a List A match.