Afghanistan and Nepal register comfortable wins
Nepal got off to a bright start in the Asian Cricket Council Premier League, by beating UAE by four wickets with more than ten overs to spare in Kuala Lumpur. Put in to bat, UAE lost early wickets, but the innings was resurrected with a 72-run fifth-wicket stand. Swapnil Patil anchored UAE with 76, but they were bowled out in the penultimate over of the innings for 191. Sompal Kami and Mahaboob Alam shared six wickets between them. Chasing a modest total, Nepal lost Naresh Budaiyar in the third over, but the second-wicket pair of Subash Khakurel (71) and Gyanendra Malla (47) responded with a 66-run stand. Paras Khadka, the captain, chipped in with a 40-ball 30. Fayyaz Ahmed was UAE's most successful bowler with 2 for 49.
Afghanistan completed a clinical six-wicket win over Hong Kong in their first match of the competition. Hong Kong were asked to bat and the openers got the team off to a solid start with a 60-run partnership. Subsequently, they lost regular wickets which stemmed the flow of runs. Hong Kong's top-order all got off to starts but none of them went on to make a big score. Babar Hayat struck six fours and two sixes in his half-century, which helped get Hong Kong to a respectable total of 216. Amir Hamza was the pick of the bowlers, with figures of 10-1-30-3.
In reply, Afghanistan chased down the total with 41 balls to spare. All the batsmen contributed, with the most significant one coming from Usman Ghani, who made a quick 70. Ghani fell in the 26th over with the score on 128 for 3, but a 64-run stand between Hashmatullah Shaidi and Samiullah Shenwari took them closer.
Oman convincingly defeated Malaysia by 74 runs, in a low-key affair. Oman were ahead of the game from the get-go, getting off to a fine start, after choosing to bat. Zeeshan Maqsood top-scored with 77 and along with handy contributions from Arif Hussain (44) and Aamir Kaleem (42), got Oman to a score of 269 for 6. Hassan Ghulam picked up four wickets but conceded 72 runs in his 10 overs.
Malaysia's captain, Ahmed Faiz made a good fist of the chase with 70 but none of the other batsmen did anything of note. At one stage, Malaysia required 164 off 180 balls with seven wickets in hand, but collapsed to 195 as they were eventually bowled out in the 41st over. Kaleem and Zeeshan Siddiqui picked up three wickets each.